Quick Response (QR) Code
What it is:
Quick response (QR) code is a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read with specific QR barcode readers and most mobile phone cameras. The code is made of small black squares and rectangles that are arranged in a square pattern on a white background that codes for text, URL or other information.
How it works/Example:
As opposed to the earlier versions of linear bar codes, 2-D QR codes can be read either vertically or horizontally because each contains an alignment pattern. Also, this extra dimension gives QR codes the ability to contain much more information. Companies can use QR codes to display large amounts of information about their products or direct consumers to online resources using a relatively small and simple graphic. This process of directing a traditional print audience to an online destination is also known as hardlinking or object hyperlinking.
Let’s say Company XYZ is trying to spread the word about their new tech products and direct consumers to a website dedicated to a new product launch. As part of a new marketing strategy, they decide to buy advertising space on city buses. As an innovative approach, they decide to put just a picture of the gadget with QR code next to it that contains the company’s URL for the webpage about the product and a link to buy the product. This is done in hopes of enticing curious consumers who would see the advertisement with the QR code, take a picture of the code with their smartphone, and be directed to the gadget’s webpage. All the information about the product could be accessed by the consumer by using their smartphone camera and Internet browser. In this way, Company XYZ is able to advertise more efficiently and even monitor how many visitors their website receives from their marketing campaign that employs the QR code. That is, they are able to see how well their advertising campaign is working immediately and on a continuous basis with a high rate of precision.
Why it matters:
Quick response (QR) codes allow companies or whoever has a use for rapid mass communication to display vast quantities of information in a simple design that can be read using an ordinary camera phone or smartphone.
With more and more people using smartphones everyday, the use of QR codes appears to be an emerging marketing and advertising medium. By displaying information using QR codes, companies and advertising agencies have another tool for directing consumers to online destinations and further enabling interaction with a brand,. their smartphones or other QR code reader. The technology can be used to provide useful information for people at large events, tourists in museums or cities, or companies trying to promote products or ideas.