You know – those fun graphical codes that you find in magazines and on other visual media.  They have quickly gained steam, and are fun to interact with.   When I bought my Droid phone this fall, I spent time researching all my options.  I was firm on Verizon, but it was before the iPhone was released.  I met a Verizon Wireless representative that was super enthusiastic about his Droid, fancy keyboard, SWYPE response, and he demonstrated the ability to scan barcodes that led you to new products and offers.  I believe during his demonstration my inner voice said, “What? A tool that will help me shop…oooohhhhh”.

The technology he shared with me was called QR, or Quick Response bar codes. He showed me how to locate a scanner app, point my camera in the direction and VOILA, I was led to another product that I could buy.

I imagined over time my Sunday paper and magazines would be riddled with new QR codes giving me new ways to interact and fine new deals.  Now, over six months later, I’ve seen it “pop” up on my radar, but I’m surprised it hasn’t become more evasive, but maybe this QR technology isn’t being targeted to a female, geek, 35-45 audience.

As a simple explanation, a QR is a bar code connected to information you want people to find.  I have seen it used in business and marketing, and even education.

Below is an example of a QR that I created, scan and you’ll receive a mobile message.

QR Code

The best part, is you really don’t need any special skill to create QR code, just a few tools online can put you well on your way to integrating these into your media presence.

How do I create a QR Code:

You can use a QR Code Generator, such as You type in a website, text, phone number, sms message, email, contact info, event info, google map location, etc…Choose “generate a barcode” and voila you’re barcode magically appears.  Consider placing them on your website, or on printed material (anything from paper to your T-shirt will work).

qr code interface

How do I (or my customers) read the bar code?
You need a mobile device with a barcode reader, to point at the grapic.

How do users get a QR barcode reader?
At their app store on their mobile phone.

So here is my essential question.

How have QR codes popped up in your life?  What are some unique ways you could think of to using a QR code for your business or service?