Trends

Sticker with QR code: Lost and found 2.0

Few things are more stressful than losing your valuables. Our columnist Markus Sekulla knows this from his own painful experience. A new solution that promises help is a little sticker with a QR code that finders can scan with their smartphones and retrieve specified contact information. 

Ein Finger zeigt auf einen Stadtplan

Few things are more stressful than losing your valuables. But sometimes, despite taking the greatest possible care, something falls out of our bags or we forget to take something with us, lost in thought. My worst experience was leaving my notebook behind at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Fortunately, it was returned immediately and I was able to enjoy my stay at the trade fair without panicking.

But what if lost valuables are not returned immediately because there may not be a lost-and-found as close as at a trade show. To that end, there are a few other reasons for hope besides the most important feature, people's honesty. We have already reported on next about the technical developments of Apple, Samsung or Tile: https://next.ergo.com/en/Trends/2021/Apple-Airtags-tracker-where-is-my-bike

QR code with contact information

But the developments don't stop there, if only because you can't attach the little tag everywhere as well as you can on a suitcase. You also can't attach an airtag to smaller items like the currently very popular in-ear headphones.

Tile's latest solution here is a little stickerr with a QR code that finders can scan with their smartphones and retrieve specified contact information. Early users report that the stickers work well on smaller technical devices or reusable water bottles, although one should not be generous with one's own data in order to protect it; after all, a code is also quickly scanned. It is important to mention that the QR sticker does not allow tracking with location tag, but relies only on the honesty of the finder. 

People are more honest than we think

The question that often comes along with this is, are there many honest finders? The answer is yes. To this end, YouTuber Mark Rober did a nice test in the US: “200 lost purses – the 20 most and least honest cities“. Not a scientific study, admittedly, but an entertaining kind of social experiment, with relevant findings. 

First things first: 2/3 of the 200 purses were returned. Yet gender, age and income levels had little effect on people's honesty. But the size of the town where the purses were found did. According to the study, small towns have a higher return rate than metropolitan areas. 

Smart alternative to a piece of paper 

The main learning of the Youtuber? You should definitely place your phone number in your wallet. A simple note with “If found please contact xxxx xxxxxxx“ is quite enough, says Mark Rober. And that's where our QR codes come into play again. I'm not likely to write my phone number on my headphone case, but I can see sticking a QR code to it. Nicely designed it might even be a style feature.   

Discover more:

https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/19/23360823/tile-item-tracker-qr-stickers

Text: Markus Sekulla

Hier geht es zur deutschen Version dieses Textes: Sticker mit QR Code: Lost and Found 2.0