In playing around recently with new apps I stumbled across a barcode scanner that works pretty well in reading UPCcodes but also does QR codes. If you are reading this and thinking “what the heck is a QR code?“, read on.
A QR code (Quick Response code) is a small black and white graphic that you may start seeing more often on websites, in documentation, and even product packaging. They are pretty cool ways of getting info from one device onto another in a simple and concise way. Having been in use in the automotive industry for many years for tracking parts etc, they are more recently being used as a neat and new way to let you see hidden information having been featured in movies, comic books, and promotional literature. Google is all over this technology and it is included in their Android OS. Other OSes have the ability to read them as well, with the installation of a barcode/QR reader app.
The latest Google Earth for mobile devices Website (check it out here) has a QR code on it to let you grab the URL without any typing or email or sending of a file to your device. All you need is a scanner that can read the code. Your mobile device (camera equipped smartphone for instance) can read the QR code on the computer monitor and interpret that info giving you the URL in this case, or whatever info is embedded in the code.
The free scanner I use on my iPhone is Bakodo, works for iPods too apparently, although i’m assuming just the latest iPod touches with the camera since how else would you read the codes. You will hear the all too familiar “beep” you get at the grocery store as your products are scanned, and then you will see the URL and be given the option to open it taking you directly to the website embedded in the QR code.
You can create your own codes using free online programs as well, just search for QR code generator. (this is a good one i found… http://www.qrstuff.com/)
This one for instance takes me to my favorite tech website. (I know, shameless plug)
Its hard to say QR codes are new tech, since they’ve been around since the mid 90’s – but it certainly is a new wave in its use and could be opening up new cool ways for advertisers and marketing people to get info to you via your smartphone. Another reason for it to always be in your hand, or at least never more than arm’s length away.