You all might have noticed an ugly looking square matrix on lots of products and in media, looking something like this.
Well it is not something meant to deface a webpage. This small block of black and white, unintelligible shapes is nothing but a QR code. Short for Quick Response code, Wikipedia defines it as “a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones.”
The QR code is supposed to allow it’s contents to be decoded at a very high speed. Hence it found application on a large scale in the manufacturing industry in late 90’s. But as the the technological world evolved, so has the area of usage broadened. QR code can be very useful in transmitting large amount of data in a very small space. Different QR code generators can embed different functionalities in the code. Lets say for example you can have a QR code for your V-card. So instead of handing over a physical card to every person you meet, the person carrying the QR code scanner can just scan one card with this code one it, and he receive all the contact information on the scanner. Or lets say you have a link to share. But the link is so big that the space constrains on the paper prohibits you from entering the entire link. You generate a QR code for your link, and place it in a small size on the document. The space issue is solved, we do not have a big web link with ugly looking characters and the document looks future ready.
Lets say that a manufacturer of a product has some special scheme/offer for that particular product, but would not like to display the details on the packaging, due to aesthetic constrains. He generated a QR code with the details embedded in it, prints the code on the packaging. A person buying it can scan it using his scanner and get the information.
The code displayed above is the information about my blog while the one displayed below is my dummy V-Card. The one displayed below, if scanned, will give lots of details and options related to the V-card.
Now all that remains to be procured is a QR code scanner. Well, if you have a smartphone which runs Android or any major smartphone OS, chances are that there is an application which uses your mobile camera as a scanner, and gives you intelligent options to work on the decoded data after procession it. Just search for QR code reader or Bar code reader on application store on your smartphone. Some of the major applications are Google Goggles and quickmark in Android, QR scanner in iOS, Beetag in Bada, Mobiletag QR code scanner in Symbian etc. Now-a-days, major media houses use QR codes in place of lengthy web-urls. This helps in reducing the typing pains, and an application/video can be launched with very few clicks. Few of the code generator sites are listed below:
More information on QR codes on Wikipedia.