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QR codes were invented in Japan in 1994.
The two-dimensional bar codes were created at Denso Wave which is a subsidiary of Toyota and was originally used to track parts during the car-manufacturing process.
A small free application turns a smartphone into a QR-code reader regardless of whether it uses an iphone, Android, Symbian or Blackberry operating system.
Smartphone usage has exploded in recent years, fuelled by consumer-friendly devices such as Apple’s Iphone and Google’s Android handsets.
QR codes provide a very simple way to reach consumers. They are easy to create and can contain a lot of information. QR codes are low-cost and easy to implement as well as being a marketing tool that can be clearly measured.
A typical QR campaign can cost as little as $1500-$3000 which would include creating a landing page for codes, the code itself and capture information. Even better, a campaign can be created in 24-48 hours.
From the consumer’s standpoint, it provides an easy way to get information on a product or even just visit a site without having to type in the web address.
The web is increasingly mobile. We all carry smartphones. However smartphones have their downsides and one of them is that it is a bit awkward to enter a lot of information particularly long URLs and numbers.
This is where a QR code can help. They can be programmed to include everything from a web address to a ‘scan to call’ where the code will put you directly in touch with a company without you having to type a number.
QR codes can really give consumers something ‘extra’. While some codes simply display text on the phone screen, others link to a website, give additional information or have multimedia content.
According to ScanLife which creates barcode-reading software, web links make up 85% of QR codes uses last year…
QR codes have been used in everything from music videos to artwork to clothing in recent years. Artists like the Pet Shop Boys and Kylie Minogue have used QR codes in their CD artwork and videos.
Probably the most intriguing, if macabre use of he codes is on grave markers in Japan. They are used to provide information about the deceased, their life and family.
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