QR Codes – Slow to catch on in UK, but versatile and useful (probably)
A Japanese advertising poster containing QR codes

QR Codes in use - Image via Wikipedia

I have been looking at the applications of the QR code, which is, in essence a 2 dimensional bar code, which is all the rage in Japan, but seems to have a very slow uptake here in the UK. 

Really I guess that is down to needing a bar code reader and the like, it has just not caught on as much, but I think there is a lot of use for them, given the boom in smart phone usage.

Just using my HTC phone and a free application, I have just found that it also reads QR codes.  So gone are the days of reading the bar code from the tin of beans, to find that its….a tin of beans, if you look around there are QR codes dotted everywhere.  When we went to the Wychwood Festival, there was a QR code on there, but I never thought to read it.  Maybe that’s the problem, people don’t realise that they probably have the ability to read them on their phone and therefore don;t do it.

A lot of the application is not only being able to read the code, but for the phone to do something useful with it.  I put a picture on my Blog menu of the QR code for my website, but my dear wife pointed out (while laughing) that if you were already on my website, why would you need the code for it.  Fair point (though could have done without the mocking laughter), so have replaced it with something else.  But if I get my Blog QR code on other things, people can scan it, and most devices will then give you the ability to open the right program to do something with the data.  If it’s a URL, then it will open your browser, if it’s a phone number, then it will get you ready to dial, if it’s a Tex message, it will set up the SMS for you, or if it is just a simple note, it will show you what the message is.

So it’s not just the code itself that makes it useful, but the implementation of it to interpret what you would do with the data which makes it clever.  What is more, it’s not proprietory, there are a lot of free QR Code Generators out there which are free to use.

So go on, give it a go and see what you think

qrcode

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One Comment so far:

  1. Joe K says:

    They might well catch on. I’ve just downloaded this ‘Red Laser’ thing to my iPod Touch, and now I can read this stuff. Cool.
    Joe

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