What are QR Codes

QR Codes

If you’re not familiar with QR codes, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory. The difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold/share. Bar codes are linear one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ability to hold more information and their ease of use is making them gain in popularity.

What is the potential of QR Codes?  QR Codes have great value in learning and teaching, for example, by linking to online resources and allowing user interaction.  They are also great for linking information to locations and objects, for example, library catalogue.  You have seen relailers like JCPenneys and Kohls use QR Codes in their ads.

Webjunction explains how you can read QR Codes and the potential for using QR Codes.

Practical uses for barcodes:

  • on your business card
  • on sales brochure
  • event nametags
  • event ticket stubs
  • buying/selling real estate

The Cure Starts Now Foundation.  This non-profit foundation is creatively using QR codes in partnership with a small business, and the results have been favorable for both organizations.  It was started in 2007 by Keith Desserich and his wife Brooke, in honor of their six-year old daughter Elena, who died of brain cancer.  They partnered with Graeter’s Ice Cream, based in Cincinnati, OH, who created a special flavor of ice cream for the cause – Elena Blueberry Pie.

The marketing campaign used a QR code linking to the Cones for a Cure landing page, where your contact information is exchanged for a coupon for a free scoop of Elena Blueberry Pie ice cream.

cones flex
Cones for a Cure billboard with QR code.

The campaign not only surpassed the fund-raising goals, but it also helped to increase revenue and distribution for Graeter’s – who actively participated in the fund-raising on a per scoop basis.

When you scan or read a QR code with your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, you can link to digital content on the web; email, or IM.  That’s what makes it so cool!

Are you using QR Codes?  Do you have the ability to read a QR Code?  Will QR Codes be in your library?

Permanent link to this article: http://lib.nckls.org/2012/06/20/what-are-qr-codes/

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