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What is a QR Code and why you should use them

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  Doron Katz's Photo
Posted Jul 06 2010 07:03 PM

QR Codes have been around since the mid-90s, and have been common in Japan for quite some time where most of their local-customised phones have had the capabilities to read these codes.

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QR codes are a form of barcoding-mechanism, capable of storing more information, such as URL addresses and appear in the Android world where users scan the barcode on the screen, to get a direct URL to the download site. Business cards also use them to store one's vCard information.

OK so why should we use these QR codes?
Because of their convenience and emerging popularity in other platforms, having a QR reader on your phone is a great way to quickly scan, rather than type to get a URL, which is useful considering the speed at which one would be able to type a URL. Sending a business card can also be a breeze, if you have your QR code on a business card.

Getting a QR Reader on your phone
You can get a QR scanning app for most modern phones with cameras. Just visint ZXing who have Android, iPhone and Symbian open-source readers.

Generating your own QR codes
Of course, it would be handy to generate your own QR codes, to stick on websites, or business cards for example. Fellow O'Reilly Answers contributor ADFM has written a bit on this, which you can find here.

Hope you enjoyed the little introduction into what QR Codes are, and why we should be using them. Look forward to your comments.

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3 Replies

+ 1
  mvark's Photo
Posted Jul 08 2010 07:30 AM

I wanted to share some related news. Microsoft Tag got out of beta recently

The Microsoft Tag Reader works on Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry, Android and J2ME phones. It is free to download.

Read about the advantages Microsoft Tag has over QR Code here
  FieldingABCD's Photo
Posted Feb 05 2013 12:06 AM

After knowing about what is the QR code, we have to think about how to generate a QR code.
  cathyhill's Photo
Posted Jun 24 2013 06:37 PM

Thanks for sharing. And I think you should add some more impressive points to this article, because now QR Code has been used as an art. People could generate QR Code barcode image in the form of paintings. Really interesting.