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