In the 90s, a Toyota subsidiary in Japan, created two dimensional barcodes called QR codes (Quick Response). What may have started out as a car parts tracking mechanism, is now being used in a much broader context by a variety of cities, individuals, and businesses alike.
With a bit of software and a camera, your smartphone turns into a QR reader/scanner that can decipher the codes in the real world.
While this is rather fun, if a little geeky, what can it do for you? Well, for starters, you can promote your website, a product, gig or art exhibit in a unique and engaging way.
A few of us in NSDesign are reading the NOW REVOLUTION – Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social (Jay Baer, Amber Nusland). Throughout the book there are many QR codes that take the reader online for more information. Think about the ramifications of that.
You can create a code which links to text (information), a website URL, to call a phone number, to send an SMS, to an event, to someone’s contact details, a PayPal “buy it now” link, a link to iTunes, a place on a map and a whole lot more!
One QR code contains space for up to 4,000 alphanumeric characters!
For several years now, bands like The Pet Shop Boys have been using QR codes in their videos, on posters and online to promote exclusive material for fans.
The possibilities are endless on how you can creatively use the technology to enhance an experience.
In summary, here is a great piece from one of my favourite magazines – Fast Company – on 13 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes for Marketing. There is also an interesting BBC News piece on how Bordeaux is using QR codes to get it’s citizens online.