You may have seen these barcode-esque boxes around lately. Or maybe you haven’t. If you dont’ know what they are or what their use may be for you, I’m here to explain them in simple Pangie terms.
QR codes give you information about a product or a person directly by taking a photo of the code with your phone. OK, so it’s not really a “photo” but you use your camera to scan the code, so for all intents and purposes, it’s a photo.
In order to scan the QR code, you need an app that will translate the code into what the code maker wants you to see. Every smart phone has available apps, and nearly every QR code scanning app will work with nearly every QR code. (There are some companies who think they’re fancy and create QR codes that only work with certain scanning apps, but personally, those companies are douchey.) On my iPhone, I have QRReader by TapMedia. It’s free (with ads) and it saves all of the QR codes and information you’ve scanned.
But Pangie, why do I need to scan or care about scanning QR codes?
Coupons, discounts, information, being social, fun, learning.
All of those things and more are found by scanning a QR code. People (me included) are adding QR codes to their business cards to make adding their information to your phone immediate. It’s a time-saver, people! I’ve seen QR codes added to t-shirts (see: I have one) to wear to conferences (see: BlogHer ’11) for people to scan to get to your website, get your email into their phone, or send you to a website.
Who are using the QR codes? Tech people, marketers, regular everyday Jane’s like us. I found this infographic >>> that gives more information than I can explain. They’re growing in popularity by the day, and you’ll see more and more of them with in magazine published and on nearly every advertisement you see.
Have you tried scanning a QR code? What do you think of them?
It may seem like technology overload, but by scanning the codes, you’ll get fun stuff, coupons, and easily add information you can use to your phone instantly. Plus, if you’re going to BlogHer ’11, you’ll want to have a QR code-scanning app already on your phone so you can scan my chest. (wha? yes.)
And if you’re crazy-nutty, you can tattoo a QR code onto your body. At least it does something really cool.
QR Code Infographic via Mashable