What are QR Codes?

What exactly is that strange looking box that is showing up in so many places? It looks a bit like a mosaic bar code and it is called QR codes. A QR code (short for quick response code) is a matrix like bar code that can hold a large amount of information. Although the pixelated appearance may look a bit odd they are actually quite useful. QR codes were originated in Japan in 1994. They were used by Toyota to keep track of the vehicles they were producing. This limited use has expanded greatly and now it is commonplace to find a QR bar code in any number of places. It would not be surprising to see at least one QR code each day as you become more aware of them.

Many bar codes require a specific type of reader, like those found in the grocery store. They are both bulky and quite expensive. QR codes are a little different. With the increasing popularity of smart phones these special bar codes can be read by a good share of consumers. Many smart phones support an application that will allow the user to scan a code and get information. It is only necessary to activate the application on your phone and use the camera to scan the quick response codes. The scan will then take you to a company website or an advertising website for a specific company. It is possible for companies to imbed info about certain products or promotions and make them available to a large portion of the marketplace.

QR codes can be found in an ever increasing number of places. Snail mail brochures, email advertisements, websites, business cards, product packages and even t-shirts are capable of brandishing your company or personal information via QR codes. The most important factor is to remember who you are targeting with the information you are providing. It is also important to be certain that the QR code is properly placed to achieve a clear rendering when it is read. If not, the less than perfect codes will cause frustration instead of building either a customer base or increased loyalty.

Bar codes are not a brand new device for encoding information. Some bar codes were in use in the 1970's. There are several types of bar codes available, both one and two dimensional. QR codes are just one type of two dimensional bar code Their two dimensionality refers to the fact that they can store information both vertically and horizontally. The ability to store readable information in both directions means that QR codes can hold as much as two hundred times the information held in a one dimensional bar code. Not only is there a larger storage capacity but the codes can be read quickly. This makes quick response codes an increasingly popular choice.