What is a QR code?
QR stands for quick response and a QR code is a type of two-dimensional bar code. The format, which is very popular in Japan where it was created by the Denso-Wave corporation, is quickly gaining popularity here in the US and other countries because of its versatility and ease of implementation. QR Codes can hold various types of data such as contact info, addresses, web site URLs, plain text, calendar events, geo locations, and sms messages, and can be scanned by phones with a capable camera and the proper software.
Features of QR Codes
QR Codes are free to use although the patent for the technology is held by the Denso-Wave corporation. They can hold hundreds of times more information than traditional bar codes. The size can be scaled to be placed neatly on a web site, or the side of a building. They are designed to be readable even if slightly damaged or obscured. QR codes can also be read from any direction.
QR Codes in the Media
In September of last year Google Started its Favorite Places program in which it sent out window decals to business which were popular on Google Maps. The decals contained a QR code with a link to the businesses Places page on Google Maps. Customers who scanned the codes with their phones were taken to the businesses Places page where the could then create reviews for the business or see special promotions placed on the Places page by the business.
The TechCrunch web site has reported that the non functional QR code links which were seen on some Facebook profiles for a short time earlier this month will be part of the mobile location-based features the site will be adding.
QR Code Resources
Want to read QR Codes on your mobile phone? If you have phone with the Android OS you can get the “Barcode Scanner” app from the Android Market, or you can get the “Barcodes” app from the iTunes App Store if you have an iPhone.
Want to make your own QR code? If you’ve downloaded or are already using one of the apps mentioned above you can can use them to create QR codes on your phone, or if you don’t have a smart phone or would just like to create and save QR codes on your computer there are a number of web sites which allow you to accomplish this, one of them being http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/.
In the fast paced world of technology which we live in QR codes are a very useful way to let friends and potential clients quickly access and store the information you provide instead of having to review it on the spot or manually type it all before saving it, making them a smart tool to implement any online or offline business strategy.