What is a QR Code
They come to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they are usually used quickly by a smart phone or tablet). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your smart phone or tablet. You will see QR Codes in a magazine advert, on a billboard, or a web page. Once it is in your smart phone or tablet, it will give you details about that business, details about the ad, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local business. The reason why they are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. The other key feature of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, many smart phones can scan them.
Ways to use QR Codes in our Daily Lives
QR codes are not just for businesses anymore. Anyone with a smart phone or tablet can download the free app to make their own. You can easily generate a QR code using a site like Kaywa.com or you can use the Open Source code to generate codes for you if you have a smart developer on hand. Here is a list of different ways people are using QR codes today:
- Product details
- Contact details
- Offer details
- Event details
- Competition details
- Social Media
- A link to your YouTube video
Emergency Contact Information
Business cards link to the individual’s full resume or website
- Special Messages in Greeting Cards
- Organizing Your Next Move
- Pet ID Tags
Some businesses have gotten really creative on how they are getting their information across by using QR codes.
A Starbucks promotion featured a QR code-enabled scavenger hunt involving hints accessed through QR codes in the stores.
Quiring Monuments in Seattle puts QR code on gravestones to connect people to an online obituary or a website about the deceased.
In Florida, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge puts QR codes on signs to connect people to informational videos about wildlife along the trails.
Make your own QR Code
On your device download the QR Code Reader. Once it has fully installed open the app and start scanning the QR codes below.