Quick Response (QR) codes got their start in 2002, with Japan leading the way. Companies such as Panasonic and network providers collaborated to create new uses for camera phones, and the result concept was the idea to turn a camera phone into a barcode scanner that would enable encoded information to connect directly to the internet. Currently, more people in Japan use mobile devices to surf the web than computers, and QR codes are everywhere – delivering quick response.
Uptake in the United States has taken longer, but as smartphone and tablets have begun to become the preferred method for internet access, QR codes have started to grow in their usage and acceptance. However, many users either do not recognize the codes, or do not know how to take advantage of them.
Traditionally black and white, some codes are different colors, or may have company logos inset in them. As opposed to the 1D (linear) barcodes found on products in stores, 2D QR codes are formed by patterns of contrasting squares arranged on a square grid. The code pictured to the right, when scanned, will direct your mobile device to our website. To access the embedded content, a QR code reader must be installed on your device.
While numerous options are available, we recommend the i-nigma Barcode Scanner. Supporting over 600 mobile phones, and pre-installed on virtually every phone in Japan, i-nigma is available for iPhone/iPad (requires iOS 4.0+), Android, Windows phone, and Blackberry. To scan a QR code, once you have installed the code reader, simply open the app, target the QR code in the scanning frame, and let the camera do the work.
If you have any questions about how this works, please don’t hesitate to contact us.