QR Code Q & A
What is a QR Code?
Unlike a standard one-dimensional barcode, the type we see on books and products, a QR code is two-dimensional, meaning that the information changes
vertically as well as horizontally. A QR code reader scans up as well as across.
This enables a QR code to contain much more information than a barcode.
It also requires a more sophisticated reader, but you don't have to worry
about that. That's already been taken care of by software and hardware
engineers. You can download—at no charge—a number of very
sophisticated QR code readers for your mobile phone.
Who Invented QR Codes?s
QR codes were invented in Japan in 1994 by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of
Toyota. “QR” means “Quick Response”. Denso wanted a code that could
be decoded very quickly in order to keep track of a very large number of
items in their inventory. While the term “QR code” remains a registered
trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated, and Denso retains the patent on
QR code technology, it has released all of the information on creating and
scanning them so that they can be used by people all over the world at no
charge and with no obligation to Denso. You need no license to create or
use QR codes. It was a very generous act—and one from which you can
benefit. you can easily do it yourself at no charge.
Why Should My Business Use QR Codes?
• They give you fast feedback on your marketing.
You can track each time one of your QR codes is scanned, using
free or paid services. You'll know soon and thoroughly just how well
your print, TV, digital and other advertising media are working.
(You'll learn more about tracking later in this book.)
• Customers—and potential customers—respond to them.
Initially they're a novelty, later they're a necessity. People scan them
because they're fun and useful. They like interacting with your
message and getting or learning something they couldn't get
• They make your life easier
Using QR codes in combination with customer support—for
example to connect with user manuals and troubleshooting
information—saves you staff, time and money.
How do I find the right QR code reader for my
There are many readers for each phone. All smartphone application websites such as the iPhone's App Store and the Android Market offer a number of free QR code scanners. One way to find a reader that works for your phone is to use your mobile device to go to: www.percentmobile.com/getqr
At the website, you'll see a list of appropriate readers for your specific
phone, whether it's an Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia or Windows
Mobile. Select one of the readers and automatically download it to your
Another site that offers a similar service is:
What are some unusual uses of QR codes?
In Japan, some people are putting them on tombstones. Visitors can then view a video about the deceased, or even a video created by the deceased before death.
In the Netherlands, to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the Royal Dutch Mint has put QR codes on the backs of some gold and silver coins, which can then be scanned to visit a special website where you can play a memory game.
While some people are wearing removable transfers with QR Codes, others have received actual QR Code tattoos.
Where can I put QR Codes?
Here's a brief list:
• On websites
• Into PowerPoint and other presentation software
• On stickers to place on objects, buildings, signs
• On flyers, newsletters, newspapers
• Onto objects during the manufacturing process
• On T-shirt transfer sheets
• On tattoo transfer paper
• On transparencies for use with projectors
• On books. On covers, inside the book for a link to live information
on something the book mentions, or to read about other books on
the subject or from the same author or publisher
• In magazines. In ads; next to articles; on cover
• In museums, galleries and zoos. Accompanying art work and
• In newspapers. In ads, next to articles, in classified ads
• On billboards
• On posters
• On bus cards
• In television commercials
• In television program (for more information about program, star,
• On products: Parts, appliances, food packaging, DVDs, CDs, books,
magazines, beverage containers
• On food products and food packaging
• On jewelry
• On coffee mugs and glasses
• On vehicles
In short, the only limit is your own imagination.
What Can a QR Code Do?
A QR Code is your—and your customers'—portal to a wide variety of
actions and information. The code gives your mobile phone instructions to
carry out various tasks or to display or access specific information. Here is a
list of key actions and information that QR codes can provide.
Downloads text, audio or video about an object, your location, or your
surroundings, particularly useful in tourist areas, galleries and museums,
and for real estate information.
Downloads and plays an audio recording such as a song or song clip,
podcast, audiobook, ringtone, or streaming audio from local or web radio
Places an event into your phone's calendar
Places contact information such as business card information into your
phone's contact list.
Downloads a document such as an article, letter, magazine, newspaper,
paper, spreadsheet, slide presentation, menu, manual, or e-book; a
discount or instant winner coupon, or a contest entry form.
Displays real-time tweets from Twitter, by searching for key words and
Links to items for sale on eBay
Places an email address into your phone's email To: field.
Links to personal, group, event and business webpages.
Downloads a photograph or other image for viewing or for use as
wallpaper on your phone's display.
Shows a web link (URL) and asks if you want to use your browser to see
the website. On some phones it may automatically go to a website
without asking first. You can also bookmark the URL on your phone's
Displays a map showing the location of a business or point of interest, or
the location where you're standing when you scan the code. Can display
nearby restaurants, restrooms, shops and places of interest and give you
necessary navigation directions, either with text or audio.
Lets you select an option from the menu items.
Lets you or others buy an item through PayPal, Amazon Payments,
Google Checkout, or other transaction system.
Initiates a phone call by automatically placing a phone number into your
Automatically uses a search engine to search for the subject already
placed in the Subject field.
Downloads information on a product's prices, reviews, and where it is
available for purchase.
Automatically places a number into your SMS (text messaging) address
field, and may also include a ready-to-go message for you to send. Can
also be used to automatically subscribe to text alerts, email lists, or other
types of sign-up.
Connects to, displays posts from, or lets you make posts to any of the
popular social networking sites.
Displays plain text which can be, for example, a message, pet
information, GPS geocaching, or clues for a treasure or scavenger hunt.
Displays a boarding pass, movie or performance admission ticket,
discount or free coupon, or event registration pass.
Downloads movie and TV schedules; flight, train, bus or ferry schedules,
status and routes; stock prices; weather forecasts; surf or ski conditions;
headline and updated news; sports scores; shopping specials; event
calendars, horoscopes, or traffic conditions.
Links to Twitter account page or to Twitter #hashtags.
Downloads and plays a video recording such as a YouTube video or
movie trailer, or a video related to your present location.
Links to a webcam that displays real-time visual information about a