What is a QR code?
We have all seen them! A QR code stands for Quick Response code. It works like a bar code but can hold a great deal more information. Instead of being a series of bars, it’s a data matrix which can hold up to 7,089 numeric characters or up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters. This makes them much more flexible than standard bar codes.
Why are they used for?
QR codes are used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to provide links to websites and provide an easy way for people to go to a website without typing in the address. They can also be used to provide telephone numbers, email addresses and other useful contact information. A QR code can also hold control information, otherwise known as “actions”, such as dialing a phone, sending an instant message or tweet, updating status on social networks. There are a lot of different possibilities with these codes.
How do people read them?
QR codes are “scanned” by mobile devices such as smart phones using their built-in cameras and then interpreted by software. Depending upon what type of device you’re using, there are different QR code scanners and readers available. They range from simple ones that will allow you to read directly from your camera to more complex scanners that can read codes from webpages, photos you’ve already taken and so forth. There are different readers for different devices, so if you have an Android phone, for instance, you’ll need a different reader than you would for an iPhone.
Where can I use them?
You can use a QR code almost anywhere. They have a high tolerance for error, so you can include them in images where they’re stylized to fit into a larger design. People sometimes put them on stickers to pique the interest of passersby. For instance, real estate agents might advertise their listings by putting QR code stickers on for sale signs. When people see the sign, some will scan the QR Code to get more information about the home for sale, The code could contain a link to the listing website, open house dates or even the real estate agent’s contact information.
Are they safe?
Yes, QR codes are safe. However they could be used to link to a malware infected website, so it’s a good idea to be smart about the QR codes that you scan. If they seem to be from a questionable source, treat them as you would any other unknown link!
Scan creates tools and applications which enable users to benefit from QR codes in marketing, social media, networking, mobile commerce, lead generation, and more. Scan app is available on iPhone, Android, and will soon be coming to other smart phone platforms.
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