What is a QR Code?
It’s a barcode that originated from Japan, but has since been growing in popularity in the US and UK. A quick visit to Wikipedia says: “A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.”
How are they being used?
If you have a QR barcode reader (I use RedLaser), try scanning the QR code above and see what happens. If all worked well, you should have been taken to our Showreel on Youtube.
I recently saw a QR code being used like this at the recent CSAD Degree Show, where a students work was on display with a QR code to scan which linked you to a product demonstration. Unfortunately this was immediately flawed as no password was provided for me to access the University WIFI, and my 3G connection just didn’t want to know. But I still loved the idea of the interactivity and my QR reader remembered the link, so I was able to view the video later when I found a connection.
QR codes are seemingly getting popular usage on business cards, linking to relevant services or portfolio page. Below are some other innovative uses:
Ralph Lauren have used QR codes to make shopping with them more accessible. They added codes to magazine articles next to products as well as in their shop window displays. So if you’re ever window shopping when the shop is closed, you just need to scan the code next to the product on display and you can be whisked away to the product on the website where you can place an order.
First Great Western have started using codes on posters in train stations so you can download a pocket timetable to your phone. This is a great example of a more practical use of QR codes. This only requires quick internet access to download the small file. Then you can view the timetable at your own leisure.
This QR Code Resume (see video below) was made by Victor Petit who was looking for an internship. He commented on why he went for the QR code approach “I realized during my previous job search that getting an interview at a communication agency is the hardest part of the process,” says Petit. “I tried to create a CV that would enable me to express myself vocally as soon as they read the paper version. The combination of a sheet of paper and a QR code felt like the best way to reach that goal.”
AXA Insurance seemed to be enjoying the QR technology as they use it as a fun and interactive method to promote their App and insurance. Like the QR Resume, they use the same idea and use it to bring a picture of street scene to life.
The I-mercial below is a TV advert for Home Insurance that pauses to let the viewer scan the QR code which lets them continue on and explore the house that featured in the advert.
So what does the future hold for QR Codes? As smartphones become more commonplace, we can probably expect QR codes to be used more often in our daily lives to seek out more information. The image on the right is a photo I took which includes a QR code and social media links for the Welsh Proms. This is only the start.
Have you seen any interesting uses of QR codes? Please leave a comment below and let us know, we’d love to know more.