QRious About QReating QR Codes?
So, we've all been curious about the little black and white squares that seem to pop up almost everywhere we turn our heads these days. They are on milk containers, subway trains, coupons, for-sale house signs, magazines, blogs, newsletters, everywhere!
What is a QR Code?
QR codes are 2 dimensional bar codes. They are capable encoding more information than your typical 1 dimensional bar code that you find on most products. They were created back in 1994 but have recently gained in popularity because of the various applications and due to the rapid adoption of mobile phones. Most QR codes appear as black squares on a white background, although it is possible to add a different background color as demonstrated in the examples that follow.
What information can you encode in a QR Code?
Almost anything! For most practical uses and applications its important to know that it can store (with certain limitations and exceptions)
Numeric = 7,089 characters max.
Alphanumeric = 4,296 characters max.
You can store things like Alphanumeric values, Email, Phone Number, vCard or a Website URL.
How do I generate a QR code?
Well…there’s software and websites for that as well. We generated the above codes using http://qrcode.littleidiot.be but you can generate one using http://bit.ly as well. Just add ".qr" at the end of your bit.ly URL and voila, you have a QR code!
What can I use to scan a QR code?
To scan a QR code you’ll need a phone equipped with a camera and software or an app that is able to read/parse the QR codes. Don’t worry, there are tons of free apps on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android phones that are capable of scanning these QR codes e.g. i-nigma, QR Reader, QR Scanner, 2D Sense, etc. to name a few.
Little known facts about QR codes...
- QR codes were invented by a subsidiary of Toyota back in 1994!
- QR Codes can be customized to include your logo, as long as it doesn’t interfere or alter the embedded information. Otherwise, it won’t scan. Click here for a an example of a branded QR code!
- QR codes are available without a license!! Go ahead, use them at will.
- The world’s largest QR code is on the rooftop of a scrap yard in Charlotte, NC. No kidding!! It’s almost 10,000 sq. ft.