QR codes, those black and white square pixelly thingies. Shock news: they don’t have to be black, and they don’t have to be geometric. QR codes – or quick response codes – are now becoming as popular in the West as they are in Japan and unlocking a world of potential.
According to an article from Infotrends,
In Europe, print service providers expect a 79% rise in volume that contains cross-media elements, such as QR Codes, between 2012 and 2014
And this Infotrends article on developments in the printing industry,
Printed QR codes are driving users to mobile-optimized landing pages, videos, and more.
In other words, a QR code isn’t an end in itself – a game, a bit of information or a money off voucher – it’s part of a company’s strategy to drive traffic to websites.
What is a QR code?
So what is this thing you should be considering for your business? It’s a type of matrix barcode originally dreamed up for the car trade by Denso-Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota. The secret of its growing popularity is its faster readability and greater storage capacity than a traditional barcode – a whopping 7000+ characters, rather than just 30 with a standard barcode. And with that growing popularity comes creativity: QR codes have moved on from boring black and white squares to works of art.
QR code applications
And how are these beautiful things used? Anyone with a smartphone can scan the QR code with a barcode scanner app and immediately have access to information, special offers, contact details etc. The QR code can be printed on any surface that will take it. It’s yet another way for a company to interact with its existing and potential market and raise its visibility. This Mashable article looks at uses of QR codes from cupcakes to book jackets, via a pint of Guinness.