An introduction to QR Codes

Introduction

Scenario one: You are reading an advertisement about your favorite car in a magazine. You read about the various colors the car comes in. You want to visualize the color  Wouldn’t it be simply marvelous if you could see actual pictures of the car in various colors?

Scenario two: You are reading a provocative article in the newspaper where it says that the costs of petrol and diesel are going to go up considerably. You are stunned by this development. You wish you could comment on it immediately in Facebook, but cannot do so as it is in the print media. But what if you could?

Enter QR codes…

What is a QR code?

A Quick Response or QR code is a smart tag that connects our daily world with the world of information. We have all seen a bar code. Simply put, a QR code is a two dimensional bar code. A bar code contains vertical elements where as a QR code contains both horizontal as well as vertical elements. A typical QR code consists of black or colored rectangles on a white or light colored background. Usually, it is scanned by a downloadable reader app in a camera enabled mobile phone or a smartphone. The URL is then decoded and the relevant webpage is immediately loaded into the mobile phone internet browser. The user can then take appropriate action like viewing a video or clicking on a Facebook ‘like’ button.

In short, a QR code is a quick link to a website that has more information.

What does a QR code contain?

A QR code contains a unique identifier that tracks additional information about the object it references. It is an image based hypertext link that is offline and leads to video, Facebook, Twitter or other web sites.

A QR code is set to be the next big thing that can store one’s personal data, website URLs, phone number, SMS/MMS message, vCard data, vCalendar data, e-mail, discount coupon promotions and much more. Thus, a person who sees an article, advertisement, flyer or poster with a QR code can scan the code, read it and find out more about the article or promotion in question.

Where does one place a QR code?

QR code printing can be done in newspapers, advertisements, brochures, articles, leaflets, pamphlets, business cards, labels, billboards, walls, t-shirts and so on.

Advantages of QR codes

A QR code permits a person to immediately and effectively find out more about something they have just read by using their camera enabled mobile phones or smartphones. Conversely, a business benefits because research has shown that QR codes give a high ROI (return on investment).

Benefits to the user

QR codes allow one-to-one connectivity that is relevant, engaging, and motivating for the user, who can take advantage of special sales, promotional activities, discounts and the like. Complex web site addresses need not be remembered. Scanners like the Qruize Reader enable users to read QR codes effectively and avail instant gratification.

Benefits to businesses

QR codes are not expensive to make. At a relatively low cost, businesses can leverage this wonderful boon to get high return on investment. Moreover, it is not expensive to include in ads and these ads can be highly effective. When a user scans the QR code for additional information, dynamic content is displayed in the webpage. provides such interactive content management capabilities to businesses to maximize the ROI of the ad spend.

Limitations

There must be ample lighting so that a mobile phone can effectively scan a QR code. The scanner may not work in a dim or dull environment. Net connectivity is also important for the web page to be loaded in the mobile. Moreover, QR codes must be used only in locations where they can easily and safely be scanned.

Summary

QR codes have been around since the 1990s, and were first designed for the automotive industry. The potential for QR Codes is limitless.  QR codes have brilliantly taken up what the social media is doing well now, bringing people together with technology, and extending it to enhance the experience. There are some risks but the opportunity for success is great. QR codes are here to stay.

Trivia

  • The QR code was invented by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of the Toyota group.
  • A bar code has 30 numbers where as a QR code has 7089 numbers.
  • Some of the apps that read QR codes are the Qruize Reader, the Red Laser, the Bar code scanner, the QR scanner.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: