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QR Codes-What the Heck Are Those Square Thingies

Updated on February 2, 2013

The other day I was looking down at my mail and noticed, yet again, this little odd graphic on a JCPenney's brochure. Now it seems that everywhere I look I see it. It kinda looks like a dissolving crossword puzzle. Well it's one of the latest things that technology has brought to us. You've probably seen them on sales brochures or catalogs alot but never knew what they were or how they operated. For starters they're called QR codes. Let me give you a little history about these little doo-dads.

A QR code is a Quick Response code; thus the name. It was originally created in Japan. In 1994 they were introduced but only to be used for tracking down vehicle parts. They are somewhat similar to barcodes but they hold more information than a barcode. Unlike barcodes, these 2D codes can hold info like urls of websites, telephone numbers and text. They have now become more popular in conjunction with smartphones. Cell phones with a camera can easily scan these codes if equipped with a barcode scanner app.

By simply downloading a barcode scanner app or QR reader onto your smartphone or Android, a QR code can be read with ease. Once you have downloaded the QR code reader, simply aim your scanner at the QR code and the data that is embedded on the QR code will appear on your phone's screen. Just like that! The phone's scanner can very easily read it off of paper or the computer screen. Once scanned in, the results of the barcode or the barcode itself can be shared to your contacts or friends via SMS, texting or by sending through e-mail. Give it a shot on the two that I have provided.

Sites like QRStuff, Kaywa and Qurify are sites you can use to create your own QR code containing your own custom text. The code's image can be made to be small or large in size. You can even add color to your code to give it a cool spin or match it to fit the color scheme of your website! I was very amazed by this and I'm still tickled at how unbelievable this technology is. And it's being used by companies to promote their businesses by including advertising messages, links to their sites or links to their coupons by coding it within their QR codes. People are able to promote their websites without a lot of data that would normally take up a lot space. Instead, they are able to put out a small icon-like pattern that entails all the info they would like to store within it. It truly boggles my mind.


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    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 6 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Thanks coolmon2009!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Interesting and useful article thanks.

    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 6 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Yep creativezazz. To me they were a bit intimidating when I saw them but they are nothing to be scared of. They can even be useful to us and will probably be more used in the future. Might as well understand them now. Thanks for dropping in a comment! Have a great day!

    • creativezazz profile image

      creativezazz 6 years ago from Claremont, CA

      Q R Codes explained!