QR code tags (Quick Response) have been around since 1994, where they were developed in Japan to keep track of car parts in vehicle manufacturing. Only recently have they started to become mainstream in America, and they're starting to pop up in the most unlikely places:
Facebook’s mobile application which utilizes codes for its location-based service lets you check-in at businesses, like your local pub or favorite restaurant, and alert your Facebook friends to your location.
Instead of handing out a traditional business card, all you need is a QR code all of your own and you can let your new friends scan it and they'll have all your info - in a second.
If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The key difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share.
Bar codes are one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 digits, but QR codes are two-dimensional matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ability to hold a lot of information and how easy they are to use makes them highly useful for businesses.
When you scan or read a QR code with your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, you can link to digital content on the web; activate a number of phone functions including email, IM and SMS; and connect the mobile device to a web browser.
Any of these desired functions are easily achieved by properly creating your QR code. It’s a simple process of entering the appropriate data into the QR code generator, and there are quite a few online that can be used for free.
QR codes can connect people with each other and to multimedia digital content instantly.
How does a QR impact the Blogosphere? You can use QR codes to link to specific blog posts that have generated a lot of activity and add it to your emails and newsletters.
QR codes more commonly link to URLs, which is why link shortening services bit.ly and goo.gl now automatically generate a QR code for sharing your shortened links. Using goo.gl as an example, you simply click on the “more” link after you create your shortened link, where you are taken to a page that not only gives you the QR code, but useful analytics.
MyQR.co is another site that provides analytics and the ability to customize the color of your QR codes.
We created our own QR box and it doesn't have to be black and white...there are many color choices to choose from Here's what our QR code looks like:
|QR code linking to our home page|
So it looks like these little boxes of information are here to stay. Let's hope we don't end up with them tattooed to our thumbs instead of carrying a wallet in the future! Although that would be convenient...
To read more about QR code tags: How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business, Wikipedia, QR Stuff or Google "QR Code".
You can even find custom QR code designers: