I think big-box stores like Home Depot and Walmart will be among those to benefit the most. Why, because while they have tons of cheaper products on display and for sale immediately, it’s damn hard to find anyone to give you anything more than basic facts. They tend to hire high-school grads who have to spend most of their time stocking items. So a lot of their comments are BS, and the average shopper just has to stare at the package, read the descriptions, and trust their intuition.

This summer I was in Home Depot looking for a microwave, of which they had about 20 on display. I had a lot of questions, but the clerk was helping others. When I got to him, he then had to go back to his desk and pull out the catalog spec sheet to answer some basic questions.

The same thing happened a few minutes later while I kept browsing. But this time I also noticed the QR code on most of the product labels. I thought, what the heck, and pulled out my phone and scanned. It took me right to that item on the manufacturers web site, which had all the features, specs, etc. instantly in my hand. Wow! I became suddenly an informed shopper and had no more use for the salesperson. Just that one experience sold me on the obvious advantages of QR codes. And while QR codes on a roof, highway billboard, subways, or someone’s bald head are pretty silly, I’m now seeing them posted on many technical products in stores like Best Buy and building suppliers. Free to make and free to scan, what’s not to like?