Quick Response(QR) Codes or 2D Bar Codes

What is a QR Code?

These codes originated in Japan, principally because texting the Japanese can be so difficult. It is a 2D, or Matrix Barcode, which can contain any information, from an SMS number to a mobile or website. It could even show just some text.

Here is an example 2D, QR code ... it is a link to this website.

QR or 2D Code

In order to read the code, you need two things:

A phone with a camera
A QR reader

Camera phones are pretty ubiquitous these days - we've all got them. QR readers are less common on phones. Nokia are now installing them in their higher end handsets (N80, N93, N93i, N95 and E90), and Google will add them as standard to next generation G1 operating system. It is expected that mobile phone networks will also install QR readers on handsets.

Reading a QR code

If you don't currently have a reader, you can download them free, through the internet. We would suggest trying http://www.upcode.fi as it has the best range of readers, including an iphone compatible one.

Why Use QR Codes in Mobile Marketing?

The code's great advantage is that it offers quick access to information through mobile phones. It can be accessed in the time that it takes to photograph the code. In general, users do not type URL's into phones in the same way that they do with the PC internet. Right now, the only comparative option are shortcodes - 4 or 5 digit numbers. QR is even faster than shortcodes for the user.

QR codes can be printed or displayed in almost any environment - from tiny 25mm squares on printed publicity, through to giant projections on the side of buildings. Because they consist of square pixels, they can be scaled to almost any size. As long as there is sufficient contrast in the image, and the user can fill their screen with the 2D code it will work.

QR Code

As QR is relatively new, there is also an element of intrigue that can encourage user participation. BMW, for example printed QR codes on a series of ads, but without any further description.

A popular example of QR in the UK was the recent campaign by Pepsi, who printed them on the side of cans, and encouraged their customers to access their online content through them.

The other side of QR, is vouchering and ticketing. Because a unique code filled with information can be generated so quickly they can be sent via MMS to mobile phones as a unique ticket. These have been used for the mobile check-in that Lufthansa and other airlines are now offering.

We can provide QR codes as part of any mobile marketing campaign - SMS, premium SMS or mobile web. It is fully integrated into our messaging platform, txt4ever.

This short video, but a US-based company provides an excellent explanation and tells you everything your should know. Click here to view the video (requires Flash).

Try It Now
Written By: Paul Norman (First Tutors)