What are QR codes?

Scan this for a message from Brian Cormier
Scan this to find out what it says!

According to Wikipedia, “A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The ‘QR’ is derived from ‘Quick Response’, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan, where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional codes. Most current Japanese mobile phones can read this code with their camera.”

You’ll be seeing more and more of these QR codes around in North America, including on business cards. Basically, it acts the same as a bar code – you know, the type of code that’s scanned on a can of food at the grocery store to tell you the price. A QR Code is square and full of white and black squares in a pattern that, when scanned with your smartphone, will give you a website address, a favourite quote or pretty much any other written information.

The nice thing about these is that you can generate your own through any of the online QR Code generators available and cut and paste the code on your website or business card. It’s a unique way of telling people that you’re high tech!

If you’re new to QR codes, download a free reader app to your smartphone to find out what it says!

I say: Download a free QR code reader app to take full advantage of this emerging way of communicating information through smartphones.

2 Responses to What are QR codes?

  1. Thanks Brian,
    I really know anything about these although I have noticed them popping up everywhere.

    I can see how they can become very useful.

  2. Hi, Brian.

    Your readers should know that there are still pitfalls to avoid. For example, if one crams too much data into a QR Code, the resulting size (usually larger than 33×33) can confuse many phones and reader applications. Print or display size is also an issue, as is the fact that except for Android and Nokia, smartphone software does not include QR Code reading software by default — at least not yet.

    Technicalities aside, the real issue is engagement. Just pointing mobile users to a Web site will be a disappointment, unless the site is optimized for limited mobile browsers and their small screens. Some companies, like Warbasse Design (http://www.warbassedesign.com) have figured this out, but there are a lot of marketing companies who don’t.

    Thanks for raising awareness.