Get ready for the QR code frenzy. Actually it’s already here. What are QR codes? QR stands for “quick response” it’s a 2 dimensional barcode (datamatrix) that was created in Japan by Denso Wave. It was released in 1999 and filed with the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) in 2000. It recently gained popularity because of mobile phones and the ability to scan, store and deliver rich content which can be decoded at a high speed.
Here’s the exciting part… A traditional barcode only holds a maximum of 20 digits (numeric only), where a QR code can hold up to 7,089 characters! Incredible. Here are the combinations: 7,089 numeric only, 4,296 alphanumeric, and 2,954 binary (8 bits). Companies are realizing its marketing power and individuals are able to share contact information in a new and fun way. Another neat thing about QR codes is you can scan it at any angle, where the traditional barcode has to be scanned in a fixed horizontal position.
I created my QR code so quickly and easily with Social QR Code. The site allows you to create a Facebook “like” button, Twitter handle, a YouTube landing page (wow, a TV commercial embedded on a printed piece of collateral?) or coupon. And for mobile app developers, one of the biggest challenge is getting users to the appropriate page. What if your potential customer doesn’t take the time to search for that app, or can’t find it in the list of over 100,000 apps in iTunes? Now you can create a link that takes users directly a mobile app store. You can also create a V-card with your contact information. This is an amazing solution for delivering content to the masses. I’m really excited about this technology and I’m interested to see how companies take advantage of QR codes. The marketing possibilities are endless.
I can imagine real estate agents using this technology to store images of home listings with details about the property and listing price. Users can flip through listings on their mobile devices and have contact information at their fingertips. No more piles of fliers while shopping for homes. Speaking of shopping, how great would it be to have a wish list of your favorite shoes? Say you come across a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo’s (For example… Me? I’d rather shop for electronics) But let’s just say you were out shopping and deciding on a pair of shoes. You could scan the QR code and save it in a wish list on your phone. You could even share it on Facebook with your friends and have them help you decide on which pair to purchase. I can see lots of fun uses for QR codes.
Here’s my QR code! It has my photo and link to my Twitter handle embedded in this cute geeky square. You can even print your QR code on your business cards, so that it can be stored electronically. Ran out of business cards at a networking event? Keep an image of your QR code on your mobile device or laptop and your new contacts can scan them right off your screen. Also, no more OCR (optical character recognition) issues. My biggest issue with these new scanning apps on mobile phones is that it isn’t always accurate. Not with QR codes! Ahhhh. I’m really loving this solution.
Now how do you scan this code? I searched on iTunes for an app for my iPhone4 and found QR Reader for iPhone. (It’s a free app.) I just tried scanning my code on my MacBook Pro’s screen with iPhone4 and it works beautifully. No scanner attachments or laser readers. The QR Reader for iPhone uses the camera. It takes a photo of it and reads it. This technology is just amazing. Some might think, “geeky.” I think it’s very cool.