You’ve probably seen those funny little square bar codes popping up in magazine ads, posters, online and even on business cards. They’re called QR codes and they look like this:
They’re pretty cool and can contain a whole stack of information.
QR stands for “quick response” and they were created in 1994 by a subsidiary of Toyota in Japan as a tracking system for vehicle parts in manufacturing. They’ve become popular recently and many commercial applications are appearing for QR codes.
QR codes can store a lot of data. Things like:
- Phone numbers
- Contact details
All you need is an app on your smartphone to be able to read these. (I use i-nigma on my iPhone)
Your phone scans the code, decodes it, then displays the information. Here’s a video explanation.
Here are some examples you can try – just open your QR code app & point your phone at the screen. This one will take you to a URL:
This one is a phone number. It won’t call straight through – you get the option to dial or save to contacts. (The number is not a real phone number.)
This will generate an SMS. You can add more to the message before it’s sent. (Again the number is not real.)
How to generate the code
Following are websites where you can generate your own code for free:
Or.. go to http://goo.gl/ and type in your URL. Copy and paste the shortened URL into a new window and add .qr to the end of it. This will generate a QR code for that website. (If that doesn’t make sense – watch the video above.)
What to do with the code?
This is the great question…..
Maybe you run a marketing campaign that uses a QR code to make an offer?
Maybe you add a code with your website to your business cards and/or website?
Maybe you think QR codes have no use whatsoever!
If you have any bright ideas for QR codes I’d love to hear them in the comments section.