Quick Response Codes – A Quick Overview

WHAT’S A QR CODE?

A QR Code (it stands for “Quick Response”) is a mobile phone readable bar-code that’s been big in Japan forever, broke into Europe a while back, and is now getting traction in USA.In its simplest sense think “print based hypertext link” – simply encode a URL into the QR Code and then point a mobile phone (or other camera-enabled mobile) at it. If the device has had QR Code decoding software installed on it, it will fire up its browser and go straight to that URL.But it doesn’t stop there – a QR Code can also contain a phone number, an SMS message, V-Card data or just plain alphanumeric text, and the scanning device will respond by opening up the correct application to handle the encoded data appropriately courtesy of the FNC1 Application Identifiers that are embedded in the encoded data.

The technical specifications for a QR Code are set down in the ISO-18004 standard so they are the same all over the world, and the only significant variations from one QR code to another (apart from the data it contains) is the number of modules required to store the data.To make things a bit more robust, the QR Code also contains its own error correction data, internal orientation calibration and self-alignment markers. In this way it doesn’t matter whether the QR code is upside down or wrapped around a curved surface, the message will still get through.That’s the technical bit – what does it do for marketing – Speeds the decision process up, improves immediate response so getting sales and clients engaged more rapidly. Creates an immediate response to a campaign with an immediate call to action rather than a delayed one that often deters the client from activity and sales.

 

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