Short for Quick Response, QR code (pronounced “quick response”) is a type of barcode that can be scanned with digital devices like smartphones. It can store alphanumeric data and is often used to redirect people to websites, social media profiles, or downloads. In the marketing sphere, they’re used to promote special offers or new product launches.
Invented in 1994 by Masahiro Hara, chief engineer at Denso Wave Corporation, the QR code is read as a square grid of pixels that can be decoded with software and a smartphone camera. Its purpose was originally to track vehicles and high-speed parts as they moved through the assembly line, but it has since become a ubiquitous tool in business, art, and daily life.
To scan a qr code on your phone, simply open your camera app and enter the QR code scanning mode. Point your device’s camera at the code and make sure all four corners are in view. Your phone will automatically take a picture and display the code’s info on screen. This process is the same for iPhones running iOS 11 or later, as well as Android phones with a built-in QR reader (including the Pixel and Nexus series).
How are QR codes used today?
There has been a major uptick in the use of QR codes during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, some restaurants and bars are using QR codes to link to a Covid-19 contact tracing app that tracks people who have been in the venue and alerts them of possible exposure. These kinds of apps can also help stop the spread of the virus by allowing people to easily report their contact with symptoms to authorities.
Many people are now using QR codes to connect to WiFi without sharing passwords or logging in with their phone number, as opposed to a traditional username and password. This technology can also be used to track visitors in businesses and even on school campuses, allowing for a more secure and private way of tracking who has been in a classroom or office space. Some companies are even using QR codes to provide a more personalized experience. For example, a company in the UK called QR Memories is printing QR codes on gravestones that people can scan to learn more about the deceased person in obituaries and news stories on the web.
There are endless ways to use QR codes, and it seems as though they’re here to stay. In a world of touch-free interactions, the QR code’s simple and easy accessibility is making it a go-to for marketers to create memorable engagements with their audiences. So, what are you waiting for? Scan this QR code to learn more about how to get the most out of a qr code for your business. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to start using them today!