Office Blogmaster: “Sara- this month we’re focusing on QR codes, so make sure you include them in your next blog post”
Me: “Um, what’s a QR Code?”
|That’s right. I, Sara Gorsky, am the only person in the world apparently who doesn’t know what a QR code is. It’s shocking. However, thanks to this marvelous thing called the “internet” I was able to discover a whole new world of technology that I was looking at the whole time but could never see. Just in case some other people out there are in the same boat as me, here is what I have learned…|
What is a QR Code? In simplest terms, a QR Code is INFORMATION! It could be any kind of information, and it’s in the form of a sort of modern bar code.
How can I access this “information”? QR codes are designed to be read by mobile devices with a camera. In order to do this, you will have to download an app designed specifically for this purpose. There are a plethora of free apps out there that do this. I simply went to the app store on my iPhone did a search for “QR Reader” and up popped a free app called “QRReader“, which took a mere five seconds to install. Once you have this app installed, open it up and scan the QR Code. The app will read it and translate it into english and/or action.
Action? The most common information contained in a QR Code is a link to a website. For instance, a QR code on a movie advertisement might link directly to the official website for that film.
Might? Well, as I said before the QR Code could be any information. That same movie poster QR Code could link to a special trailer that can only be viewed by people who scan it, or maybe a coupon for discounted movie tickets.
Coupons?! Yup. More and more companies are using QR codes in this way. As smart phone platforms expand, QR Codes could become the next circulars. Some grocery stores are already swapping out those old coupon dispensers for a cleaner, more eco-friendly QR code (grocery stores have also starting posting recipes next to items. How convenient!).
How Else are QR Codes Being Used? There is a new use for QR codes almost every day. Here are a few super cool ways they have been used so far…
- Tours and Museums: Historical tours, factory tours, museum tours, you name it- they are adding QR codes next to buildings, objects, artwork, display cases, etc…these QR Codes often will pull up a paragraph or two about the specific object and/or links to a webpage with this information. Some of these codes even link directly to a wikipedia page, or a video of a historian discussing it’s significance. Soon those giant placards will be a thing of the past, too.
- In gardens: QR Codes have started popping up at gardens and often contain the detail about that specific plant. QR codes have also started showing up at nurseries, where they contain information about how to care for the plant (how much sunlight & water it needs, what time of year it blooms, etc…).
- On tags: Clothing designers have started using QR codes on their tags. These QR codes often contain price, material type, and sometimes links to the designer’s website or online store. Social media gurus predict that soon we’ll be able to use QR codes to check if that piece comes in a different size! AMAZING!
- At transit stops: A few cities have started posting QR codes at bus and train stops which will automatically pull up the next arrival time.
- In advertisements: These codes often contain coupons for the product they advertise or might link to that company’s online store where you can purchase the item.
- On business cards: Gone are the days of business cards being packed with information, one QR code can contain all the pertinent contact information as well as link directly to your website.
- On bottles of wine: Scanning one of these QR codes often pulls up information about that particular wine, what foods it pairs well with, how it was made, and information about it’s vineyard.
- There are hundreds and hundreds of other possibilities. Check out a few more in this handy article.
Can I create my own QR Code? YES! It’s very simple. Some QR reader apps also have the ability to create them as well. My handy app will let me create a QR code for text, for a website, for my contact information, for a location, for an email address, and even for a phone number! That’s right – I can create a QR code that will automatically call me from that person’s phone if they scan the code. Whoa!
In conclusion– soon Star Trek will be real life.
This post was featured in ePiphany, Astek’s Monthly Newsletter | Other ePiphany Articles
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