Technology and Trends: The QR Invasion—Physical and Virtual Worlds Collide!
Here at BCS we have included a QR code on all of our printed materials for the last few months, and it seems to be catching on. So what is that squiggly-filled box you have been seeing more and more in magazines and on packaging? It is a QR Code (KYOO-AR-KOHD ). QR stands for Quick Response. Huh, you say? But what does it do? Okay, better answer: basically, it’s an optical hyperlink you can use your smart phone to follow. (Super-geek answer: a QR Code is a 2D matrix code capable of storing up to 4,296 alphanumeric or 7,089 numeric characters.) The bottom line: when you see something that you want information about, you no longer have to remember to look it up later on Google. You can now simply point your smart phone at the object and the desired information will be zapped to you without typing or speaking. In essence, the QR code has become the shortest distance between curiosity and information retrieval. The beauty of QR codes is that they free to create, as they are an open-source and freely licensed standard. They cost nothing additional to add to printed materials and can be scanned by free readers on all smart phones including, Apple, Android, and BlackBerry.
Where did these things come from? Glad you asked. In 1994, a Japanese company, Denso Wave Inc., created the QR to track and inventory automotive parts. Later, it was hijacked by advertisers eager to direct consumers to their digital or online offerings in the most efficient way. Realtors have taken a liking to the QR code, realizing that it’s a lot easier to point your phone at the sign in front of a property than it is to find a pen and write the number and address—or even type all the info in! Anyways, you get the idea. Major companies like Disney, Sony, Coca-Cola and many more having been rapidly expanding the use of QR codes. If you want to make your own QR code, you can go to QR code generator site like www.mobilefish.com . To get a QR reader on your phone, just go to the app store and search for QR reader. Have fun!