What Are QR Codes?
QR codes are the commercial name for a type of 2D (dimensional) bar code. They are different to a 1 dimensional barcodes - which have lines running in vertical strips from left to right like the barcode you may be familiar with on a bar of chocolate in the supermarket.
A 2D barcode is different in that it has boxes running both left to right on the horizontal axis and also up and down on the vertical axis as well. Each small box or what we call a ‘pixel’ contains information, for example the QR code below says http://www.cognation.net/profile/index.html
The 3 “big boxes” in the corners simply tell the camera which way the code is orientated, so QR codes can be snapped in any direction but generally are printed with the 2 big boxes in the top and one on the left.
Where Did QR Codes Come From?
QR codes were originally invented in Japan by Denso for industrial bar codes on packaging for warehousing and production purposes.
So What Exactly Can QR Codes Do?
QR codes can be read by almost any phone with a camera. There are a variety of QR code readers/software applications available to download from the internet for free and we suggest using NEOReader. Remember any QR code can be read by any reader.
QR Codes can be implemented to do the following:
- Display Text Only – you might want to ‘push’ an address or some other form of information as text to the handset.
- Initiate Email Transaction – QR codes can not only initiate an email but pre-populate text into the email.
- Initiate SMS transaction – QR codes are often used to initiate sms.
- Initiate Browser Session – Most QR marketing codes initiate a browsing session for the phone to a particular website landing page (which allows for great analytics tracking of advertisements success – see landing page topic below).
- Initiate Audio Stream – You can use a QR code to initiate the download an audio track.
- Initiate Video Stream – Any phone that allows video to be displayed can use QR codes to initiate playing of a video stream.
Recommended QR code reader