Object hyperlinking is the process of linking physical objects to online data. It requires a number of components to work.
- A means of identifying the target web page. In the case of QR Codes this is the code itself.
- A physical means of reading the code such as a mobile phone.
- Appropriate software on the mobile phone to decode the QR Code and pass the data onto to a browser.
- A network that connects the mobile device and browser to the internet.
- A target web page.
The technology is widely available to do all this but when QR Codes were first introduced in 1994, few components were in place. Apart from anything else, mobile phones didn’t include QR Code scanners.
You don’t need a QR Code to object hyperlink. For example, a radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) can store and transmit a URL that contains information about the product and this data can be read by RFID scanners and used to direct a browser to the URL so that it displays information about the object.
However, whilst the above only describes what object hyperlinking actually does from a technical standpoint, from a marketing perspective the implications are quite profound. There’s one key fact that helps drive this message home:
An object such as a product or an ad can’t take an order. A web page can.