Decipher the Codes – QR Codes That Is

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.

QR ScanWe’re starting to see them in books (see right), magazines, on buses, posters or even on the sides of buildings.

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 REVOLUTIONShifts 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.

QR Codes @ Digital 2011As soon as someone prints a book, the  content can become “out of date”, but with QR links to a web address   – you can keep the content fresh and current. Mistakes can be fixed…

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!

NS2code QRNot just a techie online destination, you can put the codes on shirts, hats, mugs and so much 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.

You can create your own, for free, on a variety of sites such as QRStuff or Qurify, Create QR Code, to name a few.

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.

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