If you have come across a square looking bar code – perhaps on the back of a business card or on a website – then even if you don’t realise it you have spotted a QR code. Also known as Quick Response codes these nifty little codes work in a very similar way to a bar code in that when you scan them with your phone or mobile device they immediately return information such as the contact details of that person or company. They are a great way to marry up offline and online marketing mediums as the same QR code can be used in print and digital media.
The great thing about QR codes is that you can download free apps for your smart phone that can scan the code in seconds and reveal the information to you. It may be that you can scan the code and then be led directly to a website where you can find out more information – so basically these codes are a way of shortening information and saving time.
For a more technical definition of ‘What is a QR code?’ we can look at the Wikipedia definition that states it is a ‘trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code)’. These codes originated in the automotive industry as a way of keeping track of car parts but they have now grown in popularity to be used by businesses, individuals, shops and all kinds of organisations to store information about a product, service, person or business.
Potentially QR codes could have a massive impact on marketing and advertising and change the way we route important information so it is definitely worth looking into them.