QR Codes

QR codes (quick response codes) are an amazing way to encapsulate information into a scan-able image that can be deciphered by most smartphones. QR codes are similar to the bar-codes that you find on most products in the bookstore, grocery store, etc.
With QR codes, you can turn almost any information into a scan-able image: a website address, telephone number, email address, video link, Google Maps location, social media link, or anything else you can think of.

Here’s an example of a QR code.  If you have a smartphone, open your scanner and point it at this image.  See where it takes you!


QR Code

QR Codes provide valuable information




Read on to discover all the uses of is cool technology.






The first time I saw a QR code was at the Santa Barabara Zoo.  Every section of the zoo has a brief printed description of the animal, and also a big QR code.  When you scan the code on your mobile device, the code points your smartphone to a video on the internet.  The video plays on your device, and provides you with more information about the animal and its characteristics, habitat, etc.  Video is dramatically more effective than text.

Just the other day, I saw a QR code in the Wegman’s menu magazine.  If you don’t know about Wegman’s, it is the coolest grocery store on the planet.  Anyway, their QR code is printed in their monthly magazine, and when you scan this, it takes you to an online video that demonstrates how to grill vegetables.  Do you see a pattern here?

QR codes most often are printed — generally in print media, or an environment where there is foot traffic (like the zoo).  Another strategy is to print a code on your website to make a mobile task easier — embed your phone number or email address into a QR code, then use a “click to call” message, so the mobile user doesn’t have to type in the phone number, email address or other info.  All they have to do is click.  Sweet!