What the heck – QR Codes

Once you know what one is you will see them everywhere! It stands for Quick Response Code and was developed for the automotive industry in Japan to help track parts back in 1994…but as is always the case people have found far more fun and creative ways to use them.

It has now been adopted in lots of other places but predominantly in advertising. The reason it’s become so popular is probably down to the mobile phone market, there are loads of free QR apps out there and you simply take a photo of the QR code and the app does the rest.

QR codes are mostly used to link to a website, but can also be used to open a map, SMS message, email, call a number, wifi login, PayPal payment or even just show a plain text message.

Because the method is so reliable, you can take a photo on your devise then pull the photo up later in the QR App and the QR will be picked out of the photo.

What’s great really about them is that unlike a typical barcode that is a reference to something in a database (i.e. at the checkout you scan a barcode, the till translates it to a number then searches the database for that specific number which then has details about that specific item) all the information is contained within the code itself and anyone can make one. Most of the QR Apps can also create them but there are also lots of sites such as this one qrstuff that will create one for you and cost nothing.

Your QR is free, doesn’t need to be registered and is instant. In fact go to www.qrstuff.com and start to type in text and you will see before your eyes, your very own QR code taking shape.

We have used them a lot on promotional printed type items but two projects specifically jump out as successful use of QR codes in a different way. Our dress agency system creates a unique code for each item that is then printed out from an in house label printer, as every item is unique a standard barcode cannot be used and this way an iPad is used instead of a till. The second is Vid-CV that creates a cover sheet for a CV, the sheet amongst other things has a QR code that when scanned takes the user directly to that candidates video cv..clever huh?!?

We think they’re fun and can be an effective way of doing things in the right place and right audience. Happy to see where and how they could add something different to your comss.