Try to go anywhere and not see a QR code. I dare you. These days, it seems the only way to get a menu in our contact-less COVID protocol world is to use a black & white, two-dimensional digitized inkblot-looking abstract art visual with the ambitious name, the Quick Response code.
Initially designed in mid-1990s Japan as an evolved, more detailed bar code to track vehicle components during production using a scanner, the QR code continues to toil away in manufacturing but has moved on to benefit other industries as well. Global consumer products companies embed QR codes in physical labels to allow interested consumers to learn more more about the product in hand (ingredients, origin, specifications, etc.) initiated with a mobile scan. Marketing teams use QR codes to make it easier (and faster than typing in a URL) to visit designated sites, sign up for customer rewards programs, interact with the brand, and sell more products & services. With capacity to store up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters, QR code applications show no sign of exhaustion.
Considering adding QR codes to your marketing campaigns? Good news for Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) teams: Adobe Experience Manager actually supports QR codes out-of-the-box (OOTB) using the 3rd party library https://github.com/zxing/zxing.
You can see an example by hitting this URL from any author instance.
Fair warning: Be mindful of the URL query parameter. The OOTB implementation has Open Service Gateway Initiative (OSGI) configuration to manage Java bundles and support whitelisting domains; however, the initial configuration only allows https://build.phonegap.com/* URLs. This could easily be extended.
For a more tangible illustration, let's look at a recent Content\Thread client request. We were asked to write an icon image into the QR image while also supporting more meta data; then, subsequently storing it in AEM Assets. Given this, we developed an approach for content authors to support QR code generation and storage directly in AEM.
The process starts by adding a new navigation element to Assets.
Adding new navigation enables a full-screen modal window with some initial options for the QR code. This could be extended to support many other additional use cases, too.
Upon completion of these inputs, a QR code is generated, saved to Assets in that respective folder, and available for your content authors to spread out. With a little help from Adobe Experience Manager, your marketing team can share more informative content, creatively distinguish products & services, and make it easier for customers to buy.
Now, please excuse me while I grab my reading glasses and get down to ordering from this QR code-initiated menu.