QR Codes; The Real Life State of Affairs


My QR State of the Union

QR codes are recognizable to many more people than last year but are still a long way from ‘mainstream’.

Mobile scans growing at over 800% since Q1 2010- per scanlife.com

I wanted to see how many real world examples that I could find so I headed out on a local mission to find QR codes around Atlanta GA, as this is my home-base, and a top social media connected city.   I had hoped to find some great examples of QR in the the ‘real world’. Have a look at this video to see the result.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fktYvYc75ck&w=425&h=349]



I’ve been seeing more and more QR at the tech events I attend including REBarCamp, ProductCamp, and RETechSouth.  QR codes make good sense in these circles as many attendees are using smart phones and can quickly install and learn to use a scanner if they arent already.

A Very Short Primer on QR Codes:

In order to ‘use’ a QR code, it must be scanned. Many scanning apps are available for smart phones and this is where it all starts. One must have one of the tools in order to ‘read’ the code and make the leap to wherever the code leads.

One list of apps is found here;

These 2 dimensional codes were developed by an auto parts maker for inventory tracking and are capable of far more information that other barcodes. They are very reliable and sturdy meaning hold up well to scuffs and scrapes.  The error correcting factor is big.

The developer and patent holder, has no interest in restricting its use by others, so it has become akin to open source.


QR Codes – An Easy Recipe

The codes are becoming very recognizable and are very easy to use.  More and more will be appearing, and many may even prove to be useful, and accepted by regular humans.  As smartphone use rises the QR use should follow, at an accelerated rate of growth.

Creating QR codes is very easy. There are many sites to do this and I’ll leave that for the reader to pursue.  I’ll focus here on one of the easiest and most useful, IMO, and that is Google’s link shortner,   http://goo.gl

In QR the information encoded is very often a url of some sort.  By using goo.gl the link will be shorter, and will allow for tracking analytics. This is most a useful combination as marketers and is key in knowing what works.


Google generates QR Codes

Google link shorterner and QR code generator




The best use of QR is to direct the visitor to a mobile optimized page, which could be a video [my favorite! ] Sending someone to a regular web page is going to frustrate many users when they land there on a mobile screen.

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