QR code (QR = Quick Response) is a kind of commonly used 2-dimensional barcode nowadays.
This is the QR code of my blog. I'm sure you have seen other QR codes elsewhere as well.
QR code is originally created by Denso Wave (a subsidiary of Toyota) to keep track of vehicle parts along the manufacturing process. It has been around since 1994. Today, it has been internationally adopted and used for many different purposes, especially in the Advertising and Promotion sector.
What makes QR code so interesting and commonly used?
- It can store much more information (as much as several thousands characters) than the traditional 1-dimensional barcode.
- Other than alphanumeric, it can also store binary data, which can be unicode (such as Chinese characters), image, and almost anything that can be represented in binary data. And it directly supports Japanese encoding (Kanji and Kana).
- It has small printout size compared with 1-dimensional barcode.
- It has error correction capability, and still can be read without problem even when partially dirty or damaged.
- It can be read pretty fast, and from any angle (360 degree omni-directional capability).
- Other than black-and-white, it can also be printed in multiple colours.
However, what make it so popular nowadays is that, there are plenty of QR code reading apps available for smartphones including iPhone, Android Phones, Windows Mobile Phones, etc. and most of the apps are free for download and use.
QR code is also easy to generate, because there are also plenty of software and web-based generator available. One of my favourite online QR code generator is QR Stuff.
You can encode the following into QR code:
- Website URL
- YouTube Video Link
- GPS Coordinate / Google Maps Location
- Twitter Profile / Status Update
- Facebook Profile / Like
- LinkedIn Profile / Share
- FourSquare Venue
- iTunes Link (music, album, artist, app, etc.)
- Any Plain Text
- Telephone Number
- SMS Message to a number
- Email Address
- Email Message to an address
- Contact Details (VCARD)
- Calendar Event (VCALENDAR)
- Wifi Login Information for Android device
- Paypal Buy Now Link