Tuesday, June 14, 2011

QR Code

Most likely you have seen one of these pixelated squares either in print or on the web and wondered (or maybe not) what it is all about... some random computer-generated 'art'?

These are actually called QR Codes.  QR stands for Quick Response which is like the bar code you see in supermarkets that make it easy to scan the items for pricing.  QR Codes belong to the matrix barcode (two-dimensional code) classification can contain more information than the conventional bar code system.  For example, you can have your name, url, and email address into your QR Code.  You can store additional info such as your phone number and address, but you have to be careful with the quantity of data you encrypt into the system, as the display becomes complex and it might become difficult to scan and read.  But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

QR Codes have been popular in Japan since 1994, but is seeing popularity beyond the Land of the Rising Sun only in recent years.  Today, QR Codes have found other applications such as in marketing promotions where scanning a code on a poster or on a product will lead you to a page in the internet to join contests and what-not.  They're also quite good as vcards (electronic business cards); you scan the QR code of a person and you are able to store their business information onto your phone / camera-enabled device without having to type all that data in.  Due to this flexible application, you can now get a QR Code reader for your mobile phone (equipped with a camera), just do a search in your phone's apps store.

You too, can have your own QR Code.  I had a quick search in the Net and came up with QRstuff.com.  I like their service because they give you loads of options on what you want to store in your QR code.  Just remember about the stuff I said awhile ago regarding putting in too much information...

Just select and type in the information you want, choose the colour (I'd stick to the basic black and white), then select output type.

In my case, I chose "Send QR Code by email"

Here's the quirky part.  You are presented with an email screen where you input recipient and sender details.  Well, I am the sender and the recipient in this case, so it felt wierd  emailing myself.
Email sent... I checked my inbox and voila, a .png file of my QR Code!

By the time this post is published, I would have my QR Code as part of my blog title design (I was thinking of a good logo for this blog and came up with a QR Code!)


Jim McCullough said...

Enjoyed your article.

I've been making complimentary codes "sticks" for local businesses that I've adopted as friends that I want to see the success they deserve through "word of phone" as well as word of mouth.

Nick Ballesteros said...

Hi Jim. That's an awesome idea. Had a look at your site as well. Good luck with this innovation.

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