Like other boarding pass experiences, Qantas's app generates an individual QR code to the Passbook app for users boarding a flight. While the scanners were initially designed for simple paper barcodes before smartphone apps came about, they were able to handle scanning the QR code from an iPhone or other smartphone. Now, with the introduction of the Apple Watch, Qantas's scanners face the hurdle of being unable to accommodate an entire wrist along with the Apple Watch.
Pointed out initially by a few Twitter users, one of which "wasn't allowed" to take a picture of the terminal in question, Qantas has since acknowledged the issue. Unfortunately, while it's looking to "access" the problem, there is currently no planned fix.
@taufiqz Hi Taufiq, currently we're unable to scan boarding passes from the Apple watch, our team are aware of this and assessing. Kristyn— Qantas (@Qantas) April 26, 2015
"We initially locked in a concept but when trying it on the actual device, it didn't work as well as I thought it would," he said.As Brisbane Times points out, the introduction of a smaller, more handheld scanner could alleviate the issue, but would undoubtedly be extremely costly to introduce in every airport the airline supports. Given that the Qantas app includes a host of other features besides supporting Apple Watch, from boarding times, departure gates, and delays, the company could also decide to leave the QR code functionality solely to the iPhone and introduce the Apple Watch's Qantas app as more of a companion experience.
"It proved that designing without testing on the actual device can compromise the user experience. Good enough just isn't acceptable. I wanted to bring the Apple Watch experience to a whole new level."