What is a QR Code?
QR codes (abbreviation for Quick Response Codes) are known as a 2 dimensional bar-code that can be read from camera phones then sends you to a website or provides you with information from the product. QR codes are commonly known in Japan where it was created by one of Toyota’s subsidiary companies Denso-Wave in 1994.
QR codes where initially used for tracking parts for cars and trucks then because of their convenience to quickly be read they caught on and are now becoming popular everywhere. QR codes can and often are used to point you to websites, display text messages, GPS coordinates, vCard information to store a contact in a phone, calendar events, wifi network information for android devices, links to movie previews and more. The QR code is basically known as the only type of technology which can quickly link print to the Internet. By saving lots of time in having to enter information into your phone manually QR codes make it convenient. You are able to scan a QR code and get far more information quicker then you would be able to type in a few minutes on your camera phone.
QR codes are now often appearing on the sides of building, buses, art, on realtor’s home for sale signs, magazines, TV, bus stations, billboards and more. The only thing that anyone needs to scan and use a QR code is a phone with a camera and a phone application installed on your phone which reads QR codes. The easiest way to find an application which is capable of such a thing is to visit your phones application store then search QR code readers. If you have an Android, iPhone, or Blackberry use our search feature to find articles on QR code readers that we have reviewed.
QR codes are also known for their high data capacity. Conventional bar-codes normally can hold 20 characters where a QR code can hold up to 7,089 characters. There for a QR code is capable of handling several dozens to several hundred times more information. QR codes are also able to encode symbols which is great for other countries who speak a different language to use them. Not only does a QR code use less space then a conventional bar-code but it also can be damaged and missing up to 30% of the code from damage or wear and it will still be able to be read. Conventional bar-codes had to be scanned in certain directions where a QR code can be scanned at 360 degrees and even integrated into graphics and shown at any angle and can still be read.
In order to use QR codes you only need 2 things a mobile phone with a camera connected to it and a QR code reader. If you have a new smart phone there is a chance that you may already have a QR code reader installed on your phone. Many iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia phones do. If not you will need to install one as we discussed from your phones app store. If you think that your phone is too old to read QR codes you may be surprised since QR codes have been around since 1996 and older devices which are able to have applications installed on them may already have applications developed for them.
After you have installed your QR code reader or open it. If you already have had your QR code reader installed them pat yourself on the back and open it. Depending on the QR code reader you have to read QR codes it will either detect the QR code and snap a picture of it automatically so it can be read or it will require you to take a picture manually in order for your phone to read it. If the QR code has a lot of information encoded in it sometimes it may take a few seconds for your phone to read it. Once your phone is done decoding the QR code it will provide you with the information it holds. For instance if you clicked on the QR code it might take you to a website or bring up someones contact information to be saved in your phone. There are even QR codes that can be made which will provide GPS coordinates so you know how to get to the location of the destination you want.
QR codes are often recognized because they all look similar and represent a square symbol of a square with 2 other squares and some cool cryptic information. If you decide to change the QR codes shape or morph it into some art you will need to test it before you take it to print to ensure that it is still readable by phones. By adding effects to a QR code you can capture more peoples attention even just with simple color changes or photo shop filters. In some cases many companies will place their company logo on the QR code to brand its with symbolism to catch your eye and scan it.
Another thing that is important to know is that a QR code can be tracked. If you create QR codes with our site you will be able to track and manage your QR codes in real time. If your still lost on what a QR code is your also welcome to hit our support link at the top of our site and send us an email asking any of those hard to understand questions about QR codes.
Some of the awesome things you can do with QR codes:
- Go to a website.
- Bookmark a website.
- Make a phone call.
- Send a short message.
- Send an e-mail.
- Create a vCard (v2.1 or v3.0) with coordinates to add a contact to your device.
- Create a meCard to add a contact to your device.
- Create a vCalendar event to add to your calendar.
- Create a link to Google Maps URLs.
- Create a link to Bing Maps URLs.
- Create a link to raw geological coordinates.
- Fetch and encode the latest tweet of a Twitter user.
- Overlay a Twitter users profile image over the code.
- Create a mobile URL to tweet on Twitter.
- Initiate a chat to a particular Blackberry PIN on Blackberry Messenger.
- Connect to a WIFI network on Android devices.
- Read plain or free formatted text on your device.
- Create market:// URLs for searching for publishers or packages on Market app for Android.
- Create special YouTube:// URLs for YouTube app on iPhone.