QR Code: FAQ and FUN

There are a lot of people who don’t know what the following image is or what purpose it serves:

phandroid-qr

It is called a QR Code (quick response code) and it is a 2D barcode that is popular in Japan. It has found an incredibly practical use with mobile phones – scanning the code with your phone’s barcode scanner (using the digital camera) can launch the decoded website in your mobile browser.

Try scanning the above barcord and it SHOULD launch http://phandroid.com in your mobile browser. I generated that QR Code in about 10 seconds using the ZXing QR Code Generator. ZXing (pronounced Zebra Crossing) is an Open Source project and they also have a simple and awesome barcode scanning app in Android Market, simply called Barcode Scanner.

You know ShopSavvy and CompareEverywhere? They use the Open Source code of ZXing to make more advanced productions of barcode scanners with deeper UI integration, complex features and of course, monetization strategies.

When you see one of these square barcode looking things next to an application description/review, it means you can open up your Barcode Scanner, scan it, and be taken directly to the application instead of having to search or browse around for it. Now think about the implications of using QR Code on flyers, street signs, publications, advertisements – with mass adoption it could be pretty darn cool.

Hopefully this helps  you if you were wondering what the heck these QR Code things were/are… if not then we can at least have a little fun with the video we found on BoingBoing featuring the coolest QR Code you will ever see:

Now whenever someone asks what that weird box looking barcode thing is… I can just link them to this post. Feel free to do the same!

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  • Mike

    We actually have a few tech magazines at work that have these codes on them :) Too bad all the iPhone peeps have no idea what it is for :P

  • PurplePenguin04

    I can’t read Japanese, but I was able to scan the QR code in the video. pretty damn cool.

  • COMPLEXGRAFIX

    DOESNT SCAN FOR ME IM USEING SHOP SAVY AND IT DOSNT READ IT

  • ghoul

    COMPLEXGRAFIX: use the app called “Barcode Scanner;” not Shop Savy.

  • gco

    ya, me too — got it from the video using Barcode Scanner! Pretty cool sandcastle project. (It’s a sinap URL)

  • Tyler

    Use barcode scanner.

  • Justin2

    @COMPLEXGRAFIX: Shop Savy doesn’t do QR codes, I don’t think. It just does regular barcodes because it is searching product databases. QR codes aren’t used to on consumer products as an inventory item. They are information links for the masses. That is why Shop Savy probably won’t scan it.

  • http://coxcomputers.homedns.org Jeremy

    I was able scan it too with Barcode Scanner. Just links to their Japanese website. I personally like their PR idea of taking pictures of the QR code with a hot girl in a bikini next to it.

  • jeff

    The other day I was at the movie theatre and I noticed a poster that just had a qr code on it. So I scanned it and it took me to a video for the movie “9” …I am not ashamed to admit that this pushed me over the edge as to wether I was going to see the movie or not

  • maddHaitian

    I see these same barcodes in the contacts. If you go to a contact you will see the barcode.or is under edit the contact no matter which one of these I got to it its there. What’s use is in it when I’m using the phone with the bar code scanner. Please explain why the zxing thing is our contancts(choose a person in your contact list and press edit and you see the barcode)

  • http://insqribe.com Danny

    If you want to create your own QR Codes, head over to http://insqribe.com and you’ll be able to track how many people scan it!

    Danny

  • maddHaitian

    Man the mytouch “drop the ball” 3g is some garbage. For once in mylife I wished that I was in england. We get freakin rehash while the english get a beast of a phone for in some cases free. Tmobile us is fool of shite!!! I effn hate tmobile us for this. I thoguht I was oredering the htc hero(g2) and in my research I’ve discovered I was getting a piece shit ohne called the mytouch “drop the ball” 3g. Tmobile sucks I’m canceling my serive and going to apple. Atleast I know with them every outing they come out with the best to all there customers. Put that in your bowl and bite it tmobile.

  • Divide

    My city (Wrocław, Poland) has those on bus stops. They lead to online bus schedules.

  • Richard

    Divide Are there these codes anywhere else in Poland? I’m doing some research on it and it’d be great to know. Actually anyone know of these being used commercially anywhere in Europe? I know they’re big in Japan but reaaly need to know about elsewhere.

  • http://mobilecrossmedia.com JackFischlum

    RICHARD
    Lots of news on this blog : http://mobilecrossmedia.com

    DIVIDE
    Could you tell us more about these codes ? I think this is Flashcode, a commercial 2D barcode from the french telcos

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  • BobB

    Google has a QR Code Gadget in their spreadsheet application in Google docs. Simply type the text into the spreadsheet cell and the embedded gadget will generate the code. You can then copy the image and use elsewhere or pint the spreadsheet..

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  • http://nexuswallz.com/ Nexus One Wallpapers

    QR Codes are cool, I just implemented them to the new Nexus One wallpaper site: http://nexuswallz.com , I’ll link to this page from the help page!

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  • http://www.QrArts.com Patrick Donnelly

    Hi,

    QR codes are GREAT !

    Check out my custom designed QR codes at http://www.qrarts.com

    best,
    Patrick

  • http://www.QR-barcodes.com Jerry Whiting

    Try making your own QR barcodes: http://www.QR-barcodes.com/online-generator/

  • Clinton Gallagher virtualCable.TV

    QR codes are starting to show up around America by the big retailers –but– QR is likely to be superceded by Microsoft Tag simply because QR code does not carry much of a payload.

    So letting QR be used to generate mindshare is a good thing but soon more and more businesses using this type of container will be trying to store five pounds of data in a three pound bag.

    Once they get familiar with what can be done that’s when Microsoft Tag takes over because QR was never engineered to carry a payload much more than a static URL whereas Microsoft Tag can contain an entire RSS Web feed for example.

    This is my current understanding of the technology’s capability.

  • ruby

    I use quickmark for android and work great!

  • http://www.qr4.nl Jeroen Steeman

    Have more fun with QR codes. Online social media QR code generators can be found at:
    http://blog.qr4.nl/twitter-qr-code.aspx
    http://blog.qr4.nl/qr-code-twitter.aspx
    http://qr.odoa.eu//QR-Code-Twitter.aspx

    Enjoy