Saturday, 20 August 2011

The magic of QR Codes

Have you ever seen one of those fancy QR codes that look like this?-
qrcode
This is a QR Code.
A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is machine readable and designed to be read by smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, a URL, or other data.
A QR code can be used for sending messages, URLs or phone numbers to people requiring them to have a QR code as QR code cannot be read by us.
First of all how do we create one of these fancy QR codes? QR Codes can be made by some softwares and many applications available on smartphone and applications.
I would recommend  using QR code creator by Kaywa as it is a web app and is universal and you can  create your own QR code by the following steps:
  1. Go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com
  2. Select what type of QR code you will like to make:
    • URL: Points the QR Code Reader to a URL
    • Text: Insert some text in the QR code which can only be read by QR code readers.
    • Phone Number: Points the QR code reader to dial a phone number.
    • SMS: Points the QR code reader to SMS to a phone number.
  3. Select the size of the QR code as small, medium, large or extra-large.
  4. Click Generate and get your own QR code!
There is also an add-on for Google Chrome to create QR codes:
QR-Code Tag Extension (Chrome Web Store)
and for Firefox: Mobile Barcoder (Add-ons for Firefox)
I would recommend using the following QR code reader applications:
  1. iOS - QR Code Reader and Scanner (iTunes App Store) - Free
  2. Android - QR Droid (Android Market) – Free
QR codes were initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes now are used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users. QR codes may be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user's device, to open a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), or to compose an e-mail or text message.
QR codes storing addresses and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or almost any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the telephone's browser. This act of linking from physical world objects is termed hardlinking or object hyperlinking.
There is a variety of stuff you can do with QR codes. What will you use QR codes for? Leave a line in the comments below!