I have a love/hate relationship with QR codes. A few years ago, they were the latest fad in advertising. Although it seems quite simple, a QR code is a very specialized tool. Like a scroll saw, it can be extremely useful and produce great results, but if you don’t know how to use it properly, the end result is just junk.
Recently, I received a product to review that puts the QR code to good use: a Findables iPhone case. At first glance, this protective case looks like many others you can choose from, and for about the same price. The big difference is this case has a QR code placed in the bottom corner, which is linked to a profile that you can personalize with all of your social media and contact details.
How it works
After downloading a free app from your app store of choice, you simply use your phone to scan the QR code on the case. From there, you set up your account, and, after confirming your account via the standard “is this you?” email, you fill out your business and social profiles. The instructions are printed on the inside of the packaging, too, visible as soon as you remove the case, which I appreciated. After all, why wouldn’t you make it as easy as possible for a consumer to use your product?
Once your profiles are set up, you’re ready to start sharing your info with the world! Ok, maybe not the world, unless you are really well-travelled. But when you meet up with someone who wants your contact info, all they have to do is scan the QR code on your Findables case. Yes, it’s really that simple. Most phones are equipped with a QR scanner as a standard feature now. When someone scans your code, they are taken to your profile page. From there, they can visit your various social media pages or view your contact info, which can then be added directly into their contacts.
What I love
Forgot your business cards at home? No problem! With a Findables case, you have all your contact info ready to share. It’s even better than passing out a business card that will be put into a pocket and soon forgotten. Once someone scans your QR code, they have immedite access to all the contact info and social media profiles that you want to share with them. They don’t have to type anything in or do a search for you. It’s quicker and easier for them to connect with you online. It’s great for networking, even when unexpected.
Not only does the app give people direct access to your information, but you have the ability to set up 2 separate profiles, buiness and personal, and choose which profile the QR code links to at any given time. So when you are attending a networking event, make sure you have it on business mode. But when you go to a friend’s party, switch it to your personal profile. For me, colleagues don’t need to see my hobby websites, and new acquaintances don’t need to be overwhelmed with all of my business links.
Did I mention it’s pretty easy and user-friendly to set up and modify? And on the function side of things, it has a slim, attractive style and I’m happy it has rubber protection for when (not if) my phone falls to the ground.
What I would improve
Overall, I really like my Findables case, but like anything, there’s always room for improvement. My biggest issue is that due to the design of the bottom of the case, I have to take my phone out in order to charge it with my adaptor cord (ok, part of this is Apple’s fault). But, all is well if I’m using the charge cord that came with my phone.
I would also like to see more social media options included in the app. Right now you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr, Weibo and Wechat. Definitely a good assortment, but what about Pinterest or blogging sites like WordPress? The good news is you can manually add any website links you want, so you can still include Pinterest…it just won’t have a pretty button to click.
The last thing might just be me, but I find that you need to be further away than you would expect in order to scan the QR code. Normally, I try to fit a QR code into the square guide as big as possible, but mine doesn’t work when you do this. Instead, you need to pull back so the code is pretty small. In the end, it does work, so I would consider this a very minor point.
All in all, I’d say the Findables case is just as good a case an any other in terms of protecting your technology, but the QR code feature gives you extra value for your money.
If you’re interested in picking up a Findables case for your smart phone or iPad, you can find them online at findables.me, or at Best Buy and the Source in Canada.
Please note: I received a Findables iPhone 5 case for free in consideration for review publication. This review is based on my personal opinions and experience with this product, and shared here for informational purposes only.