What Is a QR Code?

Have you seen QR codes in magazines and newspapers or on signs, buses or business cards? Do you know what to do with them?

They are one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network or open a web page in the phone’s browser.

All of the newest generation smartphones come preloaded with QR code reading software, including the iPhone and Android. A free app or software can be downloaded quickly and easily to enable QR code reading in slightly older smartphones. 

During the last six months of 2010, QR code scanning increased 1,200 percent across North America, according to a report from mobile payments and marketing company Mobio Identity Systems.

QR Code poster

See the QR code in his poster? It takes people to a page that gives more information than a poster could hope to. A person would just use a QR reader on their phone and the link would open in their phone’s web browser.

By adding a QR code to a marketing campaign the brands are creating interactive media. They can deliver video, Web properties, digital coupons or even sell their products directly through a formerly static media.

QR codes may be added to print advertising, flyers, posters or invites containing:

  • Product details
  • Contact details
  • Offer details
  • Event details
  • Competition details
  • A coupon
  • Twitter, Facebook, IDs
  • A link to your YouTube video

Have you used a QR code? If so, content did you receive?