QR codes, the two-dimensional barcodes common in Asia and Europe, may not have much of a future in the U.S. as Google has said it's ending its support for the technology.
The company is phasing out the technology in favor of near-field communication, which would offer much of the same functionality as QR codes but with increased efficiency. Instead of pointing their phones at QR codes and waiting, users will be able to wave their phones over NFC chips embedded in signs and devices.
Google began the phase-out last week when it removed QR code support from the for Google Places Dashboard. The technology allowed merchants to print out personal QR codes for use in advertising.
Not any more, says Google. Users will no longer find unique QR codes in their Places accounts. We're exploring new ways to enable customers to quickly and easily find information about local businesses from their mobile phones, Google said in response to the shift.
So far, Google seems committed to NFC. The technology is a major part of the Nexus S, the company's flagship Android phone. Google plans to use NFC in its mobile payment program, which the company will test in New York and San Francisco within the next few months.
Google's commitment to NFC was solidified earlier today when the non-profit NFC Forum announced Google as one of its newest members.