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Start Thinking about QR Codes and Mobile Devices

Kristen Fowler Lindsey - Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A colleague shared a great article recently about QR Codes. I know some of you are wondering what the heck these are. Well, these are two dimensional bar code that are starting to sprout up in interesting places.

These bar codes are designed to be photographed by mobile devices and, as the technology evolves, passed to a variety of systems that can process the information contained in the bar code.

Note - for those of you who are not sure what a bar code does, traditional ones contain a variety of information than can be processed when scanned. A most typical example of these are the product SKU data, price, etc. contained in bar code on grocery items.

QR codes are not scanned, but when sent by a mobile device to a computer system these codes can be processed just as if they were scanned.

Why should you care? Well, consider the following examples of use, which at this point are not far off:

  1. (Not quite there yet but potentially possible) QR Codes as as typical Bar Codes - Use your mobile phone and QR codes to purchase something at a store.
  2. Used as a means for a consumer to redeem a coupon instantly
  3. (In the linked article above) Used as a link to a YouTube video providing expanded info on a piece of art
  4. A walking tour in your community with audio descriptions of highlighted locations around town. (Guide by Cell)
  5. Develop promotional items with QR codes on them with your company's info in the QR code.
  6. Automated event registration.
Needless to say, if this system can be incorporated into automated e-commerce capability, there are some amazing things that can start happening spontaneously and immediately using a mobile phone with a camera and web access. The technology to capture these is still a fringe technology and not built into mobile devices, but keep an eye out.

Have you heard of QR codes before? Used them? Share your comments and stories!

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