Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Technology of QR Codes

QR Codes are now being used to extend the value of the printed page, while providing more interactive and engaging information to the customer.  QR, short for quick response, allows information to be read at very high scan speeds.  The technology was invented by the Japanese company DENSO Wave, but it is available to everyone since DENSO does not exercise any rights under their patent.

The usage of QR Codes has progressed from Japan to Europe to the United States, where it is quickly becoming a valuable communication tool.  The key to the use of the QR Code is the smartphone, which can instantly scan and read the code. According to Nielsen, 17% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone.  ABI Research reveals that by 2015,119 billion dollars of purchases will be made via these mobile phones. 

Often described as a sister or offspring to the traditional linear barcode, the two-dimensional QR Code looks like a series of black-and-white squares resembling a puzzle.  The codes are machine readable through any smartphone equipped with a QR Code Reader App. The more complicated the lines of the code, the more information there is contained inside.  A QR Code can include a URL, SMS message, contact information, a phone number, or an invitation.

Using a QR Code in a printed piece allows your intended audience to instantly connect to a website without having to manually enter a long URL into a browser.  The codes can take any marketing campaign viral with the option of linking to a landing page, or a PURL (personalized URL).

QR Codes are still a novel idea for some, but they are gaining in popularity. These codes are a great way to connect your printed pieces to your web content, and a method of getting your potential customers to an exact location on your website.   Scan the QR Code below for a demonstration.

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