According to Wikipedia: A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is the acronym for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.
I like to think of QR Codes as Hyperlinks on our physical world! They are no longer just black and white and Microsoft Tag has come along and added a few more features that make the little codes even more flexible.
I have been seeing more of the colorful Microsoft tags on the backs of cereal boxes and around town. These require a separate scanner app from Microsoft (free download on any smart phone-look for Microsoft Tag Reader) and can be customized into pictures that are very cool.
Microsoft Tag can provide data on how often and where the tag was scanned. You are also able to change the data source without having to change the tag.
Here are a few scanner apps that people have voted as their favorites for QR Codes (be sure and share yours in the comments):
Here are my favorite QR Code Generators:
ZXing: I like this one because you can embed content (memo), a URL, Contact info, and even a calendar event!
Kaywa: Like above you can choose to embed a URL, text content or contact information, but UNLIKE ZXing, you have to choose one.
TIPS: The more information you put into your QR code, the more complex it will be. The geometric pattern will be denser, and could be more difficult to accurately scan and interpret. Shorten your URL using a tool like bit.ly to add some analytic features and see how many people are going to the site you sent them to.
36 1/2 Creative Uses for QR Codes or MS Tags:
1. QR Code on food products to take you to nutritional information.
2. QR Code on produce to tell you where the product was grown.
3. QR Code on items that need assembling taking you to a website with detailed instructions and a video!
4. QR Code inside a book taking you to a website where updates are available.
5. QR Code at zoo or museum to bring up videos or additional information on subject.
6. QR Code at conferences for handouts, exhibitor information and more.
7. QR Code on T-shirt taking prospective clients to your website, Twitter page or a video link for a fun surprise.
8. QR Code on business cards instead of cramming more info on there!
9. QR Code on health club door taking you to a site with great healthy recipes or trainer tips
10. QR Code on paper products with quick and easy recipes for families obviously on the go!
11. QR Code on sticker for laptops, phones, & other important gadgets that get left behind with your contact info.
12. QR Code on a rubber stamp for envelopes, stationary or even your forehead taking people to special promo pages on your site.
13. QR Code at the end of an article taking people to a bonus video.
14. QR Codes providing clues for a treasure hunt.
15. QR Codes around a school yard taking students to learning content (while they play! SNEAKY)
16. QR Code on art piece taking you to artists portfolio.
17. QR Code at the end of a video on YouTube taking viewers to more fun content.
18. QR Code on wedding invitations or favors taking guests to online photos of the couple.
19. QR Code hidden in product or on raffle tickets – most go to fun content site and one goes to YOU'VE WON page!
20. QR Code on a bus stop bench with links going to car dealers website or eco-friendly sites.
21. QR Code on a grave site to take you to a page telling about the deceased.
22. QR Code on clothing tags taking you to designer websites or sites to provide styling tips.
23. QR Codes around an organization that take you to videos revealing the history or story of a company.
24. QR Code hidden in posters or marketing material that takes you to a special discount code.
25. QR Code on fingernail art taking you to a Facebook page or a nail salon website.
26. QR Code on dog tag taking you to a video sharing dog's contact info or dog's Facebook page :))
27. QR Codes on plant stakes to provide growing tips, plant origins, and coupons to fertilizers or gardening supplies.
28. QR Code on belt buckle taking you to your contact info or website.
29. QR Code on cupcakes or cake taking people to a special page with photos or videos featuring the guest of honor.
30. QR Code on car windows at dealer lot to allow shoppers to see video of car features when dealer is closed, or if they want to browse on their own.
31. QR Codes on menus taking people to a video of chef explaining the unique ingredients used.
32. QR Codes on mailers that are sent out to take prospective customers to a video of you telling them why they should work with you.
33. QR Codes at the end of proposals that take people to a video of you addressing the potential client by name and giving the benefits of working with you.
34. QR Codes at the end of each book chapter with bonus audio or video content.
35. QR Code on business cards taking people to a white paper or free product to download.
36. QR Code on accountant's business cards taking people to forms they need.
36 1/2. QR Code tattooed on your child…If lost, please return to… OK maybe not!
Now that I have your brain engaged here, what other ideas can you add? What are creative places and uses you have seen?