This Company Wants to Do Away With QR Codes

2016-09-26_12-01-36Although it appears as if this app uses a kind of QR Code, the article states that they are doing away with them.  That makes sense to me.  I’m not a fan.

On the surface this seems fantastic.  What they seem to be doing is creating a app and a database of advertisements that are scan-able as a whole with a mobile phone.  In other words, you just take a picture of the ad and it causes a direct action which may include placing the product in the ad into a mobile shopping cart for you.  How great is that?  You see something you like in an ad, you take a picture of the ad, and, all of a sudden, you are checking out.  I love that idea.  It seems quick and efficient if they can get the phone companies to go along with it.

Of course as you read the article, it appears that there is still a type of QR Code in the image.  Whatever!  The point is that this app allows you to scan the entire ad.  I think that’s better.  And yes, it will probably take you to a website.

My excitement here comes from the ingenuity.  I still would like to see the domain industry develop an industry-standard method to scan and go to a URL.

Read the story… | Source: Advertising Age

I Don’t Remember, I Just Press The Button

I was meeting with some friends after church today and we were talking about our plans. In the conversation one of my friends asked another for someone’s phone number. Her reply was, “I don’t remember, I just press the button.” This got me thinking about how speed dial has replaced our memory and even our address books for many telephone numbers. We naturally gravitate towards what is easier.

It also got me thinking about what most people are overlooking; Mobile Mfgrs. are planning to build one very strong QR/bar code reader into the operating systems of mobile phones and I don’t think it will include the ability to read URLs. I may actually have an in with some people who are doing this with mobile phone makers but they don’t want to work on the URL aspect without industry support. I can’t do it myself.

I can’t stand QR codes in their present form. But if they are native to mobile devices that will change how reliable, ubiquitous, and how practical they will become. And they don’t require a URL. One can direct them to the billions of new IP addresses available under IP V6. It will become faster to scan a bar code or QR code than it is to type in a URL.

That could change things. It won’t usurp domains ever but it can take away the 5% and 10% growth rates we’ve all benefitted from over the past 15 years.

More Innovation – From Print to Digital

I’m not the only one who feels this way about QR codes. A company called Digimarc recently developed an application that recognizes patterns in images and text using an invisible watermark (only visible through their application but not to the human eye). This way print media can bypass the square QR code. I haven’t tested the app yet but I like the idea of this much better than QR codes too.

There are lots of ways to move people from print or outside media to digital. It’s my view that we can come up with more and better ways to do so with domain names and URLs.


Trademark Attorney Thinks Apps are the Future

Trademark Attorney, Sally Abel, wrote the following this week:

“…regardless of whether any of the new gTLDs is competitive with or even overcomes .com as the domain of choice, the future is not domain names. The future is apps. And the future is now. Over a billion people currently use smartphones; and anyone with a smartphone has less and less need to access the internet, whether by URL or otherwise.

Other than accessing the cash machine, I can already do most of my banking via my mobile phone, using an app made available to me via text. I never access the bank’s website directly so the URL—the domain name—is irrelevant to me. I can also shop, make dinner reservations, download my medical records, book a flight and hotel room, enjoy my favourite podcasts, track my runs and pay my children’s tuition—all this and much more, without leaving my phone… I can also bypass the web completely, downloading via text, like my banking app, or by scanning barcodes (using QR codes for Android apps) that appear in publications or on point of sale advertising.

It is estimated that 70 billion apps will be downloaded worldwide in 2013: 56 billion to smartphones and 14 billion to tablets, according to ABI Research…

I’m not so sure I agree with her completely. I think that there is a lot of value in companies using their domain names. But what if she is 10% right, or 20% right. That is important market share that could be lost to the domain name industry if we just sit on the sidelines.

Read more… | Source: | Date Posted: 7/23/2013

New gTLDs Moving Forward

With ICANN signing registry agreements as I write this post, the new gTLDs are moving forward at break-neck speed.  Progress may have seemed slow over the past several years but that is changing and new TLDs will be coming out within the next few quarters.


Because new gTLDs will open up the name space they will be the perfect choice for quick transport to websites, IPs, and apps.  I am hoping that the industry will embrace the idea of driving and guiding the development of quick domain name / URL technology.  This is an important initiative and the time to do it is now.

One URL Reader Works (a bit)

I’ve been speaking with our CFO, Anthony Beltran, about the idea of a URL reader.  He likes the idea.  Today, he came in and showed me an email that he got from his QR Code app developer. The email stated that they’ve added the ability to read URLs to their application.  We tested it and it worked on a few .com and .org domain names.  That was encouraging to see.Domain Name Reader

However, I still think that if we, as an industry, want to continue with the wonderful growth rates we’ve always enjoyed, we have to get behind the effort of developing and driving this technology ourselves. Here are a few reasons why I feel this way:

Shaky Hands – I’ve had conversations with high profile players in the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) industry and they’ve told me that although an application like this can be made, for it to work properly there are a number of other things that must be factored in. Shaky hands are an example.  An app that is to read text must account for hands that are moving while scanning the text.  This technology exists but if we don’t drive it, how can we ensure that a high quality app will ever be built.  What we’re more likely to see is hundreds of cheap apps that just frustrate users.

New TLDs and New DNS Developments – A good OCR app must have access to libraries of text that contain likely combinations. Unless we, as an industry, drive this technology, how will an app maker know all of the possibilities and create a truly successful app.

Mobile OS Integration – Only as an industry, and only with a truly workable OCR partner, will we be able to convince mobile OS operators to add a function like this to an OS.  QR code and bar code reader manufacturers are years ahead of the domain name industry on this.

Ubiquity – For this to work, we have to make the URL reader widely and freely available. We’ll never achieve critical mass by ad hoc, individual efforts.

What Do You Think?

I think we, as an industry, have a great opportunity right now (beyond new gTLDs). This is one of those things or applications that players in the new gTLD business should take advantage of.

Let me know what you think.  We need more industry players involved.

Joe (