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Image courtesy of 11th Screen

This is an ‘All you ever wanted to know about QR Codes‘ sort of post. We have all been hearing about this QR code for a while now in the context of mobile marketing. I downloaded a QR code reader a while ago to experiment and didn’t go much farther than that. I registered the codes on occasion while out and about. Through it all I have had this sense of seeing the whole topic of QR codes through a badly focused lens. I could tell there is a murky image there, but I needed to sharpen the image. I spent some time sharpening the image and here are some basic facts:

  • QR stands for Quick Response and the codes seems like a carry over from barcodes. I think it will help to have a different name for more people to understand that this has nothing to do with writing code!
  • QR codes are essentially guideposts that when scanned lead people to larger pieces of information. So, if you scan a QR code on a coffee cup, brochure, t-shirt of a pub it can lead you to a website, coupons, maps or any kind of marketing material. The sky is the limit in terms of what can be packaged in that small square*.
  • QR codes can be scanned using smartphones once you have downloaded a QR code reader. There are many free readers available in the market that do the job extremely well.
  • QR codes  can be scanned from any angle and still be read correctly.
  • The mobile marketing potential of QR codes has motivated everyone from corporations and small businesses to art museums and non-profits.
  • This does not mean you are late to the game. While QR codes have been in the air for a while, the increased use of smartphones means this is a growing trend in mobile marketing.
  • It is easy to create a QR code and it is free. I played around at qrcode.kaywa.com and found it easy as pie to create a QR code for a URL.
  • Once you have created a QR code place it in locations where you expect traffic and make it easily visible and accessible.
Now you are all set to go and have fun with QR codes!
*The square has already become a rectangle and will probably become a lot more things pretty soon. Dense Wave, the company that created QR codes originally to track automotive data for Toyota, has introduced iQR. iQR has 80% more data capacity that QR codes and can be made 30% smaller. The shape flexibility also makes it more suitable for some shapes such as cylinders and columns. Currently iQR is being used in the automotive and aviation industry but it is bound to expand.
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