QR (Quick Response) Bar Codes

Have you seen these odd looking square shaped bar codes?   They are starting to pop up in print ads, although they could be anywhere – t shirts, coffee cups, emails, television, and the latest seems to be gift tags! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5EjVvvyLRfA

You scan a QR code with your smart phone, iPod, or iPad, which typically results in opening a web page.

First you need to download a QR reader app.  The free one I downloaded to my iPhone was QR Reader.  When I start the app it automatically scans a QR code I place in front of it, and then shows me the decoded content.  In most cases the scanned QR code results in opening a web page, but it could also be a text message, location, or for this holiday season a gift tag recorded message.

I started having fun with it, once I realized I could create my own QR codes.  I just selected create from the QR Reader app and was able to quickly create QR codes for websites, locations, phone numbers, and text messages, and then share the QR codes via email, Twitter, and Facebook, most likely annoying my friends and family.  Saved as a jpg image I can now use the image as I did in this post.

I am not sure how much we will see QR codes on TV (HSN has experimented with it), as once we are plopped down, I can’t see rising off the sofa to scan an image!   Perhaps a novelty for now, QR codes will become increasingly popular, especially for on the go situations where it is easier to scan a QR code than to copy a website name or other information that might be contained in the QR code.  We will also see prettier versions using color and imbedded designs.

I’d love to know what you think about this technology.  Where have you seen it?  Have you used it?

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