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Are QR codes really the answer? 

Who would have thought when the National Cabinet (Australia's state and federal heads of) and their teams got together, to talk about a "state of the art" contact tracing system here in Oz, that was required to bridge the real world to the digital, that we’d land on QR codes... oh my.

Today's genius 

Think about where we're at with technology in 2021. All the genius we have access to from remote plant climate management like that offered by Roots Sustainable Agriculture. Tech for brain powered prosthetics. Or how about noses (yes, like the one on your face) with artificial intelligence (A.I) like that of Brainchip Holdings, which have the same sniff sensitivity to minute quantities of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as a dog's nose developed in 2017. These A.I. noses can, through smell, identify diseases including Parkinson's, cancers, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis and infectious diseases, such as, you guessed it, COVID-19.

Yet, the humble QR code is what the "brains trust" has come up with, as our primary tech to our contact tracing issue... I wonder if creators, Japanese corporation Denso-Wave, would be thrilled about it or slap their collective faces at how we've bastardised its use?

Finding interesting ways of bridging the digital gap

Working with incredible leaders is something I’ve had no shortage of in years gone by. Being trusted and given true autonomy to explore solutions to business problems is why I'll forever be grateful for the professional purpose I've been given over and over. 
  • From creating a phone app that contacts emergency services, if needed, collects data for an insurance claim and registers what's required for a potential TAC claim for a law firm in 2010. 
  • Utilising a digital-only campaign in 2014/15 to test messaging and creative with the target audience, in what would set the creative behind a physical billboard. 
  • Using in-store GEO-beacons and location data in the above some campaign to establish where the billboards should be placed. 
  • Utilising virtual reality (VR) to showcase a detailed switchboard and components during a national roadshow in 2018, that would have otherwise have been impossible to showcase due to size, weight and cost. 
  • Or in 2020, using a good old fashioned social media and digital campaign to influence the changing of laws that govern nicotine use in Australia.
For all of the above-mentioned campaigns or projects, I or my team were proud to collaborate with tech leaders in the space or specifically hire people that would come in with a fresh perspective for the campaign itself.

The moral

Don't be like the national cabinet. There are often really interesting and effective ways to solve business problems, even using QR codes apparently, but there has to be a willingness to work with tech leaders in order to solve these problems. Limiting your options to just your immediate team, as great as they may be, is often exactly that, limiting. Who knows you may actually come up with something that changes the game, the industry or the world. The rewards for collaborating with technology, innovative and digital specialists through either hiring or consulting are huge.

In case you can't fight the urge to jump on board, here's a step-by-step guide on how to create wretched little QR codes, put together in 2011, enough said.


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