Imbue Address Book vCardQR Codes* are cropping up everywhere. They are those small white squares with a black pattern inside that you see printed on a multitude of items. Anyone with a smartphone can scan them to instantly access information.

“QR Code” is an abbreviation for “Quick Response Code.” It is essentially a two-dimensional barcode that contains data which can be decoded at high speed. This code was originally created to track vehicle parts for an auto manufacturer but is now being used all over the world in many different industries.

Users with a smartphone that is equipped with a QR Code reader application can scan the QR Code using the phone’s camera. This scan accesses information that can take you right to a specific page on a website, download a PDF, connect to a wireless network, instantly display contact information, or even make a phone call!

The use of QR Code technology is exploding—you can find QR Codes in print ads, retail store displays, on business cards, buses, tickets, product labels, t-shirts and more. Basically, anything that can be printed on can be used as a vehicle for a QR Code to link a user to more information.

The use of QR Codes is license free. The patent rights on QR Codes are owned by Denso Wave, but they have elected not to exercise them. Anyone can create a code by using one of the many free online QR Code generators. QR reader software is available for most mobile platforms. As a matter of fact, many smartphones now come with QR readers already installed.

Standard QR Codes can store data containing between 1,817 and 7,089 characters depending on the type (numeric, alphanumeric, binary, and kanji/kana). Regular bar codes have data going in only one direction while QR Codes contain information in both vertical and horizontal directions, thus enabling them able to store more than twice as much data. There is also a Micro QR Code which is a smaller version of the standard for applications that can’t handle larger scans. The most these can hold is 35 numeric characters.

The myriad of ways to use this technology in every day life is exciting! Large corporations down to tiny volunteer organizations are using these instant links from an object to cyberspace (aka hardlinking) to their advantage. The ways your company can utilize QR Codes is limited only by your imagination… or Imbue’s. Will it be on your next set of business cards, company t-shirts, or promotional tote bags; sending the reader to your website? Or maybe an informational brochure with a link to a video containing a live demonstration! Give us a call to discuss ways for your company to ride the next wave of marketing innovation!

*QR Code is registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; QR code. Retrieved September 23 2011.
QR; About 2D Code. Retrieved September 23, 2011.