SOME readers may have noticed square boxes containing a black and white code appearing on adverts, postcards, and billboards. But what are these mysterious cubes?
They are called QR (Quick Response) codes and are a type of barcode which can be scanned using a smartphone (eg Blackberry or iPhone) to directly access online content on a mobile.
For first time users the process of opening the camera function on their smartphone and fiddling around to scan the QR code until the mobile recognises it can be a longer process than just typing in the website address itself.
But although they are commonly used to direct users automatically to a website, there are many other functions these 2-dimentional codes can be used for.
QR codes can direct people to social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter as well as direct people to YouTube videos, Google Maps locations, a Skype call or even a PayPal Buy Now Link.
One can even make a QR code so the opens a text message on the user’s mobile ready for sending to a number of one’s choice.
Once one gets the hang of it is a fun new way to interact and a useful tool for marketers to create interactivity with potential customers.
People who scan the QR code can be directed to download a coupons, posters, adverts or a link for an online video, pretty much anywhere online.
How does the mobile read the code?
If it does not have one already a QR code reader app (such as BIDI at scanlife.com) can be downloaded for someone with a iPhone or Android handset in minutes.
To get your own QR Code free of charge in seconds visit www.qrstuff.com enter the website address you want a code for and press enter.
Did you know? It is said the Toyota Group first used QR codes in 1994 to track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process.