Posts Tagged ‘QR codes’

QR codes.  They are one of those cool hip things that most people really aren’t sure what to do with just yet.   Basically its a great way to get info out there in a new funky way by using a QR reader. (I’ve done a couple blogs about them if you want a little more info here and here)

Want an easy way to create your own QR codes and save them in ways to display either text, a website URL, a SMS message or a vCard when read with a QR scanner? There is a great website that will do just that for you, and do it for free

I created two very simply and easily that have all my typical work contact info in them.  One as text and one as a vCard, then saved them out to my computer for easy access, and i’m going to store them also on my iPhone as an easy way to share with others as well.  Total time of about 5 minutes because I was typing slow and watching the QR code change as more info was added to it.  Its a simple process of picking the format you want the info to be presented in and then filling in the blanks. (i’ve shrunk and stretched the images so the images below don’t actually work)

vCard as a QR code

text as a QR code


And if you want to show off your QR code and advertise yourself to the world, they can do that for you too.  On a t-shirt, a coffee mug or buttons.  That way others can help spread the word… er… um …code.   You know what I mean.



Someone on twitter mentioned QR codes and their lack of apparent uses.  Someone else asked me what they were.  Someone else asked me what the funny little thing on the side of their hydro bill was.  Another person asked me what App they could use to safely store personal info on their iPhone.

It seemed like the universe was telling me to blog about a little App that I use more and more, MobioId.  (If you are not sure what QR codes are I did a blog a while back about them here  and if you want a bit more info about the Mobio App I covered that a while back too, here)

select what to send

One of the coolest things about Mobio is the ease of which you can use your info and submit it for contests you wish to enter.  How’s that you ask?  It’s quite simple really.

Mobioid goes beyond just reading QR codes, which it does quite well, but also lets you submit some of your personal data by using the mobile ID service.
It hangs onto your personal stuff and submits only what you want others to know and see.  Most of the time it’s just your name and email address that gets submitted (see the confirmation email I got from mobio after using it), but if you are like me not having to type that over and over again is a good thing.  The info you want to store, such as credit card info, personal info including email addresses, date of birth, phone numbers, etc, is stored in your Profile and can be used to fill in forms, enter contests, even pay for purchases if the store or online service is set up for it.

The App even keeps track of all your activity so you can see where you’ve submitted info (and what info was submitted) in case you are using it so much you can’t remember which contests you’ve already entered, or just getting old and forgetful like me.

confirmation email

Another great use came to me via email earlier today.  Discounted Gift Cards from some major retailers.  Who wouldn’t want to get a $25 gift card for gas for only $10?  Sure maybe not all of them are such bargains, but even saving $5 on every $25 you spend at Walmart by buying $25 gift cards for $20 can be a big savings.

In that same email was another great use:  Donations to a worthy cause.  In this case it was the CIBC run for the Cure.  Simply by scanning the QR code you are taken to their website and could make a donation.

How convenient and cool is that?  Here’s that QR code if you are interested, or just want to see how one works.

Run for the Cure

QR codes are all around us, and will be becoming more and more wildly used in the very near future as companies and people see the ease of their use. I for one think its a great way to limit typing and copying of links/URLs, and with the Mobio App and your smart phone, it’s getting easier and easier.

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.

QR code from google earth website

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…

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.