QR Codes: A New Way to Shop!
They say a picture is worth a thousand of words. With this picture, they might just be right. Have you seen this type of graphic before? It’s becoming more prevalent in newspapers, magazines, the Internet, product labels, even on billboards! What is it and what does it mean? This graphic is called a QR code. QR stands for Quick Response and it was developed by a Japanese company in 1994. The QR code has content hidden in its matrix code to be decoded at high speed. So what kind of high tech scanner do you need to decode the message?
Believe it or not, all you need is your cellphone and QR scanner software – which is available on the Internet for free. Once you have downloaded the QR software, like this one from KAYWA, open the program. Your camera will turn on with a red box in your camera viewfinder. Position the red box around the QR graphic and wallah! Your phone browser will open up and the URL webpage decoded in the QR code will appear. Go ahead and try it with the graphic above – it’s an URL to an article I wrote on cool tech products to buy for Grads & Dads.
So the beauty of the QR code is that it can contain website addresses, geo coordinates, and any kind of text. QR codes can provide much more information than the basic UPC code you see on today’s product labels. Companies are developing methods now to create color QR codes so that the colors generated will match their product labels.
You might be wondering, “OK, this is kind of cool, but how is it a new way to shop?” Well, for starters, it will help you find information faster. You could be looking at a newspaper article on Canada and you might notice a QR code embedded as a part of the article. Rather than moving to your computer to look up their website, grab your phone with its QR scanner and scan in the QR code. You’ll instantly be taken to their website to get more relevant information. No typing required. It also works for billboards. If you see a billboard along the freeway with a large QR code, you can scan it (not while driving of course!) Get information about the product being advertised instantly.
QR codes are like buying a new car. You never noticed how many people have a car like yours until you buy one. Look around, you’ll start seeing QR codes everywhere now that you are aware what they are.
I put together a little video showing you how I used the Tilt 2 phone to read the QR code in this article. Take a look, then download your own QR reader from KAYWA, or any other QR reader, and try it for yourself!
June 16, 9:32 pm