Friday, August 26, 2011

QR Codes - What are these Strange Looking Barcodes?

Have you noticed these strange looking square bar codes that are beginning to pop up everywhere? I've seen them on T shirts, business cards, product labels, and bill boards. Gosh, there's even one in the sidebar on my blog!

QR stands for Quick Response and the technology has been around for about 15 years but its use is only just beginning to gain popularity.

QR codes are big in Asia where they were developed but the rest of the world is just beginning to use the technology. You’ll soon see QR codes everywhere as companies realise how useful they can be.
These barcodes can be encoded with all sorts of useful information such as product information, a website URL or even a video. You need to have a smart phone to be able to read the code which will then provide you with whatever information has been encoded to it.
So, how do you use a QR code reader?
Firstly, download a free QR code reader for your smart phone. I use this one from i-nigma which has versions for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry, or go to your app store and download the one that you like. Open the app and then line up the QR code. The code reader will scan the QR code and then provide you with whatever information has been encoded to it.

So now that you’re armed with a smart phone and a code reader, you’re ready to check out what they can do for you.
Here’s a couple of examples to get you started.
  • The QR code at the top of this post will take you to my website. No need to type in a lengthy URL - the code reader will take you directly to the home page.
  • Visit the Beadalon website and scan the code for product information. You'll soon see the barcodes appearing on all their product packaging so you'll be able to scan the packaging in store to find out more information about the product.
Now that you know what a QR code is you'll start noticing them everywhere you look. You might even notice some coloured ones that have triangle shapes inside the squares. These are the Microsoft Tag version but that's a whole other story!

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

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