What is a QR Code, Anyway?

by Davanti Digital on September 15, 2011

So, you’re in a store or a restaurant and you see something that resembles a scrambled television screen or a magic eye puzzle. You have probably wondered what exactly it is. This is called a Quick Response code, better known as a QR code. QR codes are an excellent way to interact with customers. Before you consider including a QR code in your marketing strategy it’s important to know exactly what these codes are and how to use them!

QR codes were initially created to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. Today, the codes are used for several different purposes including, commercial tracking, entertainment, product marketing and in-store labeling. The codes work much like a bar code does. The placement of the pixel-like pieces in the code transmits to a picture, coupon, website or text for the user when they’re scanned.

While the general purpose of the codes is to get mobile device users to scan the codes using special phone applications, anyone can read a QR code using something called a Uniform Resource Identifier, or URI. It might sound complicated, but basically all that means is that you need to have an application either on your phone or computer than can read the code. Here is a complete list of applications for your computer or phone to get you started! If you don’t want to download anything on your phone, you can either take a picture of or print the codes and have someone else read it for you!

Businesses are using QR codes as a fun way to not only give costumers little tidbits of information, but also to promote certain products, drive costumers to the website or social media sites. The picture to the left is an example of a QR code. Go ahead, scan it, and see what happens!

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