QR codes may sound like something you might come across in an Ian Fleming novel or find discussed at the latest tech trend conference, but over the last few years they’ve slipped into the mainstream advertising and marketing worlds in ways that make them a viable small business tool.
First, what are they? Officially, a QR Code (Quick Response) is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
Think of it as a little square mark that has the potential to contain all kinds of information about a product, service, company, or person – anything really. The code is read by using a QR scanner program increasingly found on smart phones by default. Some Android phones (ZXing), for example, ship with a QR reader and dozens of iPhone apps, such NEO Reader, exist as free downloads.