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Why we do dumb things on smartphones

Thompson, N. (2014) Why we do dumb things on smartphones. The Conversation, 28 February 2014 .

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Imagine this: you’re surfing the web while out at lunch. You decide to buy concert tickets, so to save having to put your sandwich down you ask a passer-by to log in to the ticketing website for you.

As unrealistic as this scenario sounds, users regularly do that when they scan, click and navigate to potentially untrusted internet resources with only a machine-readable matrix – a QR code – to lead the way.

The Conversation QR code.
QR codes are matrix barcodes created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994 to identify automotive components. Physically they are similar to traditional barcodes used on product packaging.

The matrix configuration allows for a denser data format which stores thousands of characters, rather than the 20 digits that product packaging barcodes hold.

Marketers and advertisers have embraced QR codes as they provide a link between the physical and the digital worlds. This simple printed shape can be created for free and can provide a link to an associated website when users scan the code with their smartphone.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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