A new age barcode of sorts, QR (Quick Response) codes have rapidly been taking over as we move full-force into an age of smartphones. With the concept originating in Japan, where they were originally used by a division of Toyota to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, QR codes are now present in every aspect of marketing, from magazine adverts to billboards and shop windows. I was even recently sent my very own unique QR code by e-mail as a ‘digital ticket’ for an event – now that’s one way to stop ticket touting!
Due to the complex design of QR codes, they have the capacity to contain a large amount of information in a very small space. By using a QR code reader or app on your smartphone to scan the codes, you are given access to up-to-date information about a product or an event, quite literally at the touch of a button. Essentially, QR codes are a quick, efficient and environmentally-friendly (anything that can help us live a more paperless lifestyle must be good) way to share information with prospective consumers.
QR codes are frequently used to automatically link to a website – for example, you might see one on a billboard advertising a new season of designer wear. By scanning the code you can go directly to the designer’s website to view the entire collection online. Alternatively, they can be featured on packaging of food products to instantly give you nutritional information or even be used on business cards to allow contacts to instantly add your details to their phone book. These are just a few examples, but the prospects are endless and I’m sure we will see a lot more creative uses for QR codes in no time!
Is your company up to QR code?