Where are QR codes used?

QR codes are used to encapsulate information for placement on printed materials, billboards, web pages, car bodies, head of lettuce, etc. Information can include name and address on a business card, product information appearing in a magazine, URL and contact information of a business advertising on a billboard, information about where the lettuce is grown, etc.

The ability to scan the QR code using mobile devices (such as a personal mobile phone with built-in camera or a smartphone) provides ubiquitous access.

  • Grocery items tagged with QR codes can be scanned by the shopper's mobile device to look up information about the products.
  • A QR code on a billboard ad can be captured as an image using the mobile device, for later retrieval to pull up details of the ad.
  • A newspaper or magazine with a QR code can be used by the reader to launch a video related to the article.
  • House of sale signs with a QR code can be used by the prospective buyer to launch a video or photo of the property.
  • Product manuals - forget where you stashed the manual? Scan the QR code on the appliance to read the manual.
  • Scan your McDonald's hamburger for nutritional value!

As for QR codes appearing on web pages, there is the potential for search engines to scan QR codes for indexing of the contained information. There is plenty of food for thought and future innovations on the use of QR codes on web pages and elsewhere to leverage the burgeoning mobile market.

Here is an example of a clever use of QR codes. I saw an interesting news item on TV. An artist wanted to exhibit his painting in a public gallery but was refused due to content restriction guidelines. So he submits a picture of a QR code which when scanned from a smartphone leads the visitor to a picture of his painting.

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