blogger: Mary Callahan, web specialist
Technology excites me like nothing else… yes, I’m a geek. Here’s my tip of the week!
Have you seen these strange patterns lately and wondered what they are? They’re appearing in magazine ads, as stickers on store windows and even on business cards. They’re the next big thing for getting your message out on mobile devices.
They’re called QR-Codes (Quick Response Bar Codes). They’re easily generated, and can contain virtually any type of information: contact information, location on a map, link to a URL, PDF or App.
Here’s how it works. Mobil Devices with a camera can download very simple-to-use application. The app, when launched, activates your device’s camera. You snap a picture of the barcode, and the app reads it instantly. Apps that can scan codes are available for most smartphones. Simply search your app store for “barcode reader,” or “QR code scanner,” and you’ll find several to choose from.
If the barcode contains a URL link, it can launch your browser and show you the page, download a document, etc. If the barcode contains contact information (from a business card for example), it can instantly add this to your device’s address book. If the barcode contains a street address, it can launch Google Maps and show the location.
One of the best examples I’ve seen, and what got me excited, was an ad in Rolling Stones magazine – “Scan this barcode for a free movie preview…” It’s an easy way to instantly put your content on mobile devices.
Train Posters: scan for directions, a web site, etc!
Trade Show: distribute digital literature instantly to mobile device from your booth!
Product Stickers: scan for coupon on your next purchase, PDF of product literature.
Get the “Picture”..?
Give it a try, snap the barcode here to see where I am going this weekend!
There are dozens of free sites to generate your own QR-Code – this is a nice example: http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator
For more information on how this new technology is being put to use – read on! http://mashable.com/2010/06/23/qr-codes-small-biz/