The infrastructure for living without a smartphone in the West is slowly disappearing. Thanks to societal changes made during the pandemic-induced lockdowns of 2020, many temporary adjustments — QR code menus, digital boarding passes — have become permanent.
Nowadays it’s rare to go to a restaurant without grabbing your phone for access to a menu or for ordering takeout. Some concert venues actually require guests to show their tickets from their mobile devices. In my Washington, D.C. apartment building, tenants open door locks via Bluetooth technology through their phones. To travel internationally — especially during the height of Covid-19 travel restrictions — many were required to provide health attestation forms via QR code. But QR codes require a smartphone to download.
“I’m suddenly surrounded by QR codes. There are now Airbnb doors I can’t open, cars I can’t start, menus I can’t read. Paper menus have vanished; ordering food has become […]
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