The barcode scanner never got hold in the western world. WeChat has turned it into a big success connecting the physical and virtual world.
With the most recent Google IO and Facebook F8 presentations we see both companies moving into the domain of connecting the physical world to the virtual world, building Mobile Object Recognition as a platform. The camera is no longer the end of an interaction (sharing), it’s the start of an interaction (recognise this). The company that can turn this into a platform is the company that can leverage the payments that are connected to physical spaces.
The Google keynote
The Facebook keynote