Editor’s Note: Amy Gahran writes about mobile tech for CNN.com. She is a San Francisco Bay area writer and media consultant whose blog, Contentious.com, explores how people communicate in the online age.
Study: Nearly eight in 10 college students had no idea what to do with a QR code
75% of students said they were unlikely to scan a QR code in the future
QR codes can be used to spread malware or as part of phishing scams
Quick response (QR) codes – those two-dimensional barcodes that resemble a checkerboard on LSD – are appearing more frequently on billboards, magazine ads, business cards, stickers, T-shirts and anything that is used to promote stuff.
But evidence suggests many people don’t understand what QR codes are or what to do with them.
You might think that if anyone would know how to use a QR code, it would be college students – a demographic that is immersed in technology and bombarded by marketing. But a recent study found that nearly eight in 10 college students had no idea what to do with a QR code.
Archrival, a research group that focuses on youth marketing, surveyed 500 students at 24 colleges and universities across the United States. They found that although about 80% of students owned a smartphone and had previously seen a QR code, only about 20% were able to successfully scan the example QR code they were shown.
Furthermore, about 75% said they were unlikely to scan a QR code in the future.