What are QR codes?
Take a look around you and you’ll see these funny black and white squares. Have you ever wondered what they were for? You’ll see them all over the place, particularly placed in advertisements. They are called Quick Response codes or QR codes for short and are not unlike the barcodes you find on many products you buy at your supermarket. QR codes however can contain much more information than just a number and they are ideally suited for scanning with a mobile phone or tablet camera. All you need to do is just download a free app to do so.
Why scan them?
There are a number of reasons you might want to scan a QR code, apart from making life easier for you, and these are mainly related to what the code was created for. For example, the QR code shown in the graphic at the top right of this page will take you to my website’s user registration page. It saves you the time and fiddling typing in the web address and finding the page for yourself. I also use QR codes to offer customers discount points, I create a slightly different one for each place I advertise so I can track where my advertising is working for me.
What can they be used for?
Other things that QR codes can usefully be used for include:
- Scan a calendar event into your calendar app.
- Add GPS location for your sat nav.
- Scan contact details into your phonebook.
- Scan wireless access point information (works on Android only).
- To call a telephone number.
- To send an SMS (text) message.
- To send an e-mail.
- Links to various social networking sites.
- Initiate an online payment using Paypal or IBAN/BIC codes.