The Port Townsend Food Coop, located in Port Townsend, Washington, launched what is believed to be the first QR code video "shelf talker" program in the country with Olympic Peninsula cheese maker Mt. Townsend Creamery. When the shelf codes are scanned they resolve to videos, which feature the Mt. Townsend Creamery's head cheese maker talking about what makes their cheese unique.
While it is too early in the program to know scan/success rates, it's not too early to see how useful these barcode shelf talkers could be in other retail settings. For example, how many times have you gone into a big box retail electronics store and found the staff to be less than knowledgeable about the products being sold. For me, plenty. To be able to scan a code and get a complete and detailed product description and or product review, right there on the spot, would be extremely useful and serve to enhance the shopping experience for most. What's unfortunate, however, is that companies may come to rely on barcode shelf talkers or kiosks to provide this type of information, as opposed to properly training their floor staff, but that's fodder for another article altogether.
The instructions which appear next to the Food Coop's codes reads, "free app for your smart phone, http://get.beetagg.com" and the only comment I have is that this copy does not fully explain what the app is and why anyone may need it.
It will be interesting to see where else 2D barcode shelf talkers start popping up.