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QR - Quick Response Codes - A New Opportunity for Building Owners?

QR Codes are quickly making their way into the consumer world. As we wrote in our Advisory two weeks ago, QR codes are the base technology allowing Koreans to shop for groceries while waiting for a subway train.

According to Wikipedia, A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, they have become popular in other industries due to their fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity.

The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any kind of data (e.g., binary, alphanumeric, or Kanji symbols). Created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. It was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. The technology has seen frequent use in Japan; the United Kingdom is the seventh-largest consumer of QR codes in the world.

For real estate owners and operators, the QR code phenomenon could open up some interesting opportunities. Once boring walls can now become an integrated part of an extended retail experience. Just like using the subway wall to sell groceries, common areas spaces in office buildings, malls, hotels, schools or any other physical space, could be used for signage that includes the use of a QR code based commerce solution.

There are many questions that arise when a traditional static "sign, poster or billboard" becomes interactive. Will retailers offer building owners "commission" on any sales generated from their spaces? Or, could owners charge clients a "percentage" of their sales much like many retail leasing scenarios? The big question is that now that signage is "interactive" and able to be identified by location, will landlords with high traffic properties want a piece of the QR commerce pie?

The other major question that arises from this new phenomenon is, "how does this impact the traditional retail space?" If I can buy a tablet computer or a new sweater while waiting for the train, how will this impact how much time I spend at the mall? There’s a lot to be said for the need to touch, feel, try on and experience the merchandise firsthand before purchasing, which could impact what type of items make sense to market through a QR campaign.

While there are a lot of questions surrounding this new mobile commerce phenomenon, there is no doubt that the merger of bricks and mortar and technology will continue to evolve and create new opportunities and problems. The real estate industry, now more than ever, will be required to discover, investigate, understand and implement a variety of new technologies in their buildings.

And just as we start to truly understand and use QR codes, a new technology is already waiting in the wings. Research estimates that the proportion of mobile subscribers scanning QR codes will peak at just 8% next year before falling to 5% in 2015 as Near Field Communication (NFC) codes, a similar but faster, more efficient technology, gradually replaces QR code functionality. NFC is a new type of chip that can be embedded in 2-D items like posters or cards. Similar to QR codes, NFC chips can contain product information and other data. A person with a NFC-enabled smartphone could wave their phone near a poster with a NFC tag to upload the information embedded in the tag. What makes NFC tags so appealing to companies currently using QR codes are the tag’s other potential uses. Friends and family could transfer photos and other files between NFC-enabled phones by touching their phones together. There is also talk of using the technology to allow consumers to purchase products at retail stores using their smartphones. The Yankee Group study concludes NFC will eventually trump QR codes in terms of usability, security and capacity.

As the concept of mobile commerce inside buildings and other public spaces continues to evolve, including bar codes, QR codes, NFC or any other emerging technologies, Realcomm will stay on the topic and try to get to the bottom of the risks and opportunities of this evolving shift in how we live, work and play.

Jim Young, CEO, Realcomm

This Week’s Sponsor

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UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE & Technology – The Importance of Developing a STRATEGY - 9/19/2019

It wasn’t long ago that a Commercial Real Estate CIO was responsible only for functions such as networking, file and print servers, computer hardware, desktop applications and e-mail. Over the last 5+ years other responsibilities have entered the sphere of the CIO including marketing, operations (smart buildings), occupant experience and cybersecurity, to name a few. Additionally, emerging technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, AR/VR, autonomous, robotics and others are impacting their world as well as their clients. Never before has it been so important for a Real Estate CIO to develop a comprehensive digital strategy, encompassing all aspects of the organization. This webinar will focus on the importance of developing a comprehensive digital strategy.

headshot for Jim Young
Jim Young Realcomm
Jim Young Co-Founder & CEO Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on techno
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Jim Young
Co-Founder & CEO
Realcomm
LinkedIn

Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.

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Ilan Zachar Carr Properties
Ilan Zachar CTO Ilan Zachar is currently Chief Technology Officer at Carr Properties, a privately held REIT known for its portfolio of trophy-quality properties in th
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Ilan Zachar
CTO
Carr Properties

Ilan Zachar is currently Chief Technology Officer at Carr Properties, a privately held REIT known for its portfolio of trophy-quality properties in the Washington D.C. In this role, Ilan leverages vision and foresight to cross-pollinate best practices, processes, systems and resources across corporate operations/affiliates. Under his leadership, this has resulted in improvements in bottom-line costs, top-line business growth/scalability, operational sustainability and high performance and overall, strengthening his company’s role as a market leader. For over 20 years, Ilan has been executive business leader and innovative technology strategist for multinational real-estate and property development companies worldwide.

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Sineesh Keshav Prologis
Sineesh Keshav Managing Director, CTO Sineesh Keshav is the Chief Technology Officer at Prologis. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the technology strategy and is responsible for le
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Sineesh Keshav
Managing Director, CTO
Prologis

Sineesh Keshav is the Chief Technology Officer at Prologis. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the technology strategy and is responsible for leading the company’s global data and digital transformation. Since joining Prologis in 2018, Sineesh and his team have been focused on a capability driven, customer-centric approach to innovation and digitalization.

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Kevin Vertrees RealFoundations
Kevin Vertrees Lead Managing Consultant With over 24 years of experience in real estate, Kevin's expertise encompasses enterprise IT design, integration and ecological adaptation, helping hi
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Kevin Vertrees
Lead Managing Consultant
RealFoundations

With over 24 years of experience in real estate, Kevin's expertise encompasses enterprise IT design, integration and ecological adaptation, helping his clients deriving ongoing value by improving their manageability, effectiveness and ongoing efficiencies. Prior to joining RealFoundations, Kevin served as a CIO for a large-NY owner operator and as a SVP of IT for an Ohio based REIT overseeing the strategic planning, enterprise architecture and information architectures.

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Mike Salazar HID Global
Mike Salazar Practice Director, Smart Buildings Mike Salazar has extensive experience in consulting and sales with Enterprise companies, regarding strategic cross function technology, mainly focused
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Mike Salazar
Practice Director, Smart Buildings
HID Global

Mike Salazar has extensive experience in consulting and sales with Enterprise companies, regarding strategic cross function technology, mainly focused on IoT and AI platforms. Named Star on the Rise by Security Industry Association in 2016, he is currently the Practice Director for Smart Buildings at HID Global. Through innovative solutions he helps organizations unlock value and realize business intelligence. Honored to call many of the most notable companies of our time happy customers.

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Dharmendra Sawh Yardi
Dharmendra Sawh Industry Principal Dharmendra is the Industry Principal at Yardi Systems. Dhar’s well-rounded and practical background in the industry includes experience as a software
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Dharmendra Sawh
Industry Principal
Yardi

Dharmendra is the Industry Principal at Yardi Systems. Dhar’s well-rounded and practical background in the industry includes experience as a software vendor, consultant and customer. Prior to Yardi Systems, he was the Vice President of Revenue Management and Analytics for Denver-based Apartment Investment and Management Co. (AIMCO), one of the largest multifamily REITs in the U.S., where he led the development and implementation of revenue management and business intelligence systems.

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Malcolm Hobbs Join
Malcolm Hobbs VP Marketing & Market Development Malcolm Hobbs is VP of Marketing and Market Development at Join. Malcolm has extensive startup and enterprise marketing and business development exper
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Malcolm Hobbs
VP Marketing & Market Development
Join

Malcolm Hobbs is VP of Marketing and Market Development at Join. Malcolm has extensive startup and enterprise marketing and business development experience in markets including SaaS, Industrial IoT, Analytics and Sustainability. At Join, he is helping to redefine how owners secure their buildings from digital threats and deliver advanced digital workplace services in today's tech-forward buildings.