Around October 2010, QR codes became a very popular tool to quickly link smartphone users through to web pages, provided the phone had a relevant reader installed. Capable of much more than just redirecting your phone to a website address, Quick Response codes have been around since 1994 and were originally used to track parts during car manufacture.
I’m sure by now you have seen these codes all over the place, but have you ever fully understood them or wondered how they can work for you and your business? The following article goes a long way to explain their many uses and when the best times are to use them.
This is a guest article contributed by Simon Goble.
QR codes are a quick and convenient way to transfer information to smart phones (or any digital device with a reader). The information encoded might direct users to a website URL, add contact details, offer special discounts and much more. They are often seen in magazines and on posters and flyers, where details on an event or product can be transferred. More specialised uses involve supplying extra details on name tags and business cards (vCards or personalised webpages), television adverts that are continued interactively and ordering online from closed high street shops.
QR Codes have also been used as coupon codes, online tickets and in scavenger hunts. Reiterating the paper message is a frequent but uninteresting practise, it is often more effective to create useful and interesting applications that will get people talking. What follows are a few of the better examples.
Posters at Denver International airport provide a great service for the unprepared traveler. Scanning different posters leads to crosswords, Sudoku puzzles and books.
Using minicards means less space, but with the addition of a QR code any missing details can still be passed on.
Using a product everyone loves is always going to be a winner, so what if that is the only really interesting part of it?
No guarantee of ever being seen but if it ever shows up on online satellite views it will been worth it.
Tesco put up a number of posters on the Seoul subway scanning the code below the item adds it to your online shopping basket.
Scanning the code on this menu from a Radisson Edwardian Hotel will take you through to a video of the dish being prepared.
A fantastic way to stand out from the crowd, scanning the code takes the user to a video of him giving his resume in his own voice.
When scanning this building using a custom app it overlays shop information and tweets from the businesses inside.
There are plenty of free QR code generators out there. Generally the default settings will be fine for a quick and easy result and many of the options are fairly self-evident though they will sometimes appear under different headings. Nevertheless to ensure that any interested party has the best chance of using your code it is worth at least being aware of some of the more advanced options available.
Several other common options worth being aware of that are not necessary are;
Every major device has a number of available readers, some such as Blackberry come with a built in reader, Android and iOS have a number of free and paid options available on their respective marketplaces. QR Reader for iPhone and QR Droid for Android and Google Goggle for both, are favourites.
Hopefully the thought of creating your own QR Codes is now less daunting. So do you plan on making your own QR Code? Are you already using them and have any tips? If have a unique idea for a QR Code use or want to plug your favourite generator, let us know in the comments.