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A Toast to the Unsung Heroes of 2020

As we inch closer to the end of what has undoubtedly been the most turbulent and challenging year in recent memory, one would be remiss not to recognize the people, innovations, and tech that helped us get to this point.

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Nurses, doctors, essential workers, scientists, tech and business leaders, all deserve a standing ovation for their tireless work and selfless dedication in the face of unprecedented circumstances. We will forever be thankful for the aforementioned faces of the pandemic, and rightfully so. However, when we talk about the unsung heroes of the pandemic, it’s hard to overlook two pieces of tech that completely changed the way we interact forever.

The unsung tech heroes of 2020 are none other than Skype and the traditional QR code. Yes, you read that correctly. Long before “social distancing” was a commonly recognized phrase, these two pieces of tech laid the foundation for pandemic staples like Zoom and new age QR codes. 

Before its Time

In most cases, success can be attributed to the timing in which a product or idea enters the market. For Skype and traditional QR codes, this sentiment couldn’t be more telling. Once seen as a nifty piece of technology that was a luxury and not an everyday necessity, video conferencing and variations of the QR code became incredibly important to everyday life in the new normal. While the functionality of these two ideas did not command the respect and admiration of the consumer initially, their legacy will be that of one of the more important inventions of the 21st century.

Impact and Influence

To understand the true significance of these two ideas, look no further than the average day in the life of someone during the pandemic. Since March, it seems that the average person is on a video call more than once a day. If you’ve been to a restaurant, you’ve likely had to use your phone to scan a QR code to pull up a menu. Startups like BellyMelly have helped restaurants around the country implement QR code technology quickly and efficiently to address the immediate demand. These products have become a major part of our present, and will likely continue to have a hand in our future as well.

Because of our reliance on these tech fixtures, many entrepreneurs have viewed this as an opportunity to expand on the depth and capability of the tech. Companies like Scanit are aiming to revamp the traditional QR code by creating a digital version that can be accessed from further distances enabling a world of possibilities for its users.

Outlook

Skype and traditional QR codes will likely never be recognized as the trailblazers they truly are, but with the emergence of Zoom and new age QR codes, it’s hard to brush over the history behind these pandemic fixtures. So with that, a toast to our unsung heroes that paved the way for families to stay connected and businesses to stay up and running during a year of adversity and challenges.

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