DUBAI: Consumers in the United Arab Emirates and an influential US blogger are among the limited numbers of people calling for greater use of QR codes.

The Annual Mobile Life Study from TNS, the market research firm, found that 19% of mobile consumers in the UAE currently make use of QR codes on a regular basis while an additional 28% expressed an interest in using them in the future.

Location-based services (LBS) were even more popular, with 43% using them and over half those not using them interested in doing so.

"As more people gain access to smartphone technology, they are eager to use new content and multiple functions as long as they deliver convenience, experience, reassurance, relevance and independence," stated Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA.

He said that smartphone features such as LBS and scanning QR "hold strong growth potential" and that marketers should embrace the engagement opportunities offered.

"Smartphone is a major entry point enabling consumers to access information and be entertained," he added. "Brands that can gain their confidence and enter the mobile circle of trust can reap huge benefits of engagement and loyalty."

The US-based site QR Code Press also claimed that consumers were demanding that mobile devices come equipped with QR code scanners.

US blogger Doc Searls recently argued in the Harvard Business Review that QR codes "are free to generate boundless uses".

For example, he suggested they could enable products to become platforms for relationships by establishing a two-way conversation between vendor and buyer as equals.

"If manufacturers are … smart, they'll put a TalkTag QR code next to the serial number," he wrote. "That way they set the table for a two-way relationship with the customer – a table the customer will buy along with the product."

As a result, companies would get better market intelligence and genuine loyalty, he said.

Data sourced from QR Code Press, Zawya, Harvard Business Review