So you saw one of these funny looking barcodes on some advertisement somewhere and you have no idea what it is. You probably dismissed it as yet another industry standard sales-based code that would help some distributer somewhere better stock their grocery store shelves.
You would be wrong.
QR (Quick Reference) codes are actually two-dimensional bar codes that can contain any alphanumeric text and often feature URLs that direct users to sites where they can learn about an object or place (a practice known as “mobile tagging”). Decoding software on tools such as camera phones interprets the codes which contain way more information than a one-dimensional code of similar size.
How are they helpful?
Say you are a marketer and you want to figure out where your best market would be for a targeted ad. You could create some posters and place different QR codes on them and offer a contest to the users and instruct them to use the code to find the link to the contest’s website. Since QR codes are traceable, you will quickly find out where the code was scanned and therefore the effectiveness of that advertisement and contest.
QR codes can also contain any type of information ranging from telephone numbers, web URLs, SMS codes, GEO locations and text messages. See pic below for some web addresses offered by a student-run burger resto downtown Montreal.
How do you create one and read it?
Data can be translated into a QR code by any QR generator of which most are available free online. Users simply enter the data to be translated, and the generator produces the code, which can then be displayed electronically or in printed format. Then, using your favourite smart device, you can quickly translate the code into info.
Not everyone is aware of QR codes. As a result, not everyone who sees one will know to pull out a cell phone and take a picture of the matrix. Not everyone owns a camera phone, and because many cell phones do not include a QR reader, the software must be downloaded and tested.
You gotta be careful too. Check out what happened to Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau after the QR code located on his campaign posters pointed to ‘luberal.ca’ instead on the intended ‘liberal.ca’. Ouchies.
Here’s a funny looking guy explaining how these codes work:
You can view The Gaily’s QR web link below :