Year it was supposed to blow: 1999–

What happened: Quick Response Codes were all the rage in the late 90s and early 2000s. Some companies today still ask their customers to scan a QR code in order to win some sort of prize. It’s ridiculous. What started as a way for Toyota to quickly track vehicles during the manufacturing process has turned into a marketing gimmick that nearly one one uses. In the best case scenario, you scan a company’s QR code and you’re brought to their website. Worst case scenario, you scan a QR code believed to be from a company which turns out to be from a hacker and now your phone is compromised. This is the one time we wish Denso (a Toyota subsidiary) would enforce its patent.