A QR code is a matrix code (or two–dimensional bar code) that can be scanned with mobile technology to automatically launch a website containing product or marketing content.
QR codes were created in Japan in the 1990s. The “QR” stands for “Quick Response”, as they are meant to provide quick access to more information. They are very popular in Europe and Japan and are now gaining hold in the US—especially the hard–to–reach Gen X and Gen Y audiences and—of course—the mobile professional culture.
Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging).
Usage and Benefits
QR codes are deciphered by the use of a barcode reader application on a smart phone or other mobile device. The camera scans the image of the QR code causing the phone’s browser to launch and redirect to the programmed Internet address–no typing required. This act of linking from physical world objects is known as a “hardlink” or physical world hyperlinks.
Users can also generate and print their own QR code for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR code generating sites.
QR codes can appear on just about any physical object about which users might need additional information, including targeted offers, product and service information, contact information, pricing, etc. For example, real estate agents put a QR code on their flyers to provide access to a full-scale online facilities tour.
- Magazines and Advertisements
- Signs and Billboards
- Buses and Other Vehicles
- Flyers and Newsletters
- Postcards and Other Direct Mail
- Business Cards
- Event Badges
- Tradeshow Banners
- Bills and Statements
To learn more about QR codes and include them with your upcoming printed communications, please contact us.