What are these funny looking codes? a.k.a QR codes…

29 Jun
mobiDdiction's URL QR code

Nope! not something you need to decipher. Just a QR code that you scan using your smartphone. You do need a reader app for it and there's lot of free one's available to try out.

Seen those funny square boxes – they look like barcodes but wonder what they’re doing these days on newspaper ads, outdoor billboards sometimes or sometimes even on a few grocery items…and if you’ve been to Japan you surely must’ve seen them – they’re everywhere and people seem to be so used to them. I must say I’ve started to see a lot more QR codes being used in Australia these days, I’ve spotted them on (more) wine bottles, in a restaurant as a menu for “chef’s special” for the day, at some events – and I’ve even spotted them in the last week on a bin which I posted on our Facebook page too.

Brands seem to be much more open to trying our QR codes these days – though I must say not sure how many people do understand what those codes are for and how to use them. Yes, smartphones have become smarter and smarter but that technology is outpacing the consumer uptake and speed and faster than the time behaviour adaption happens. In fact, these days, seems like the time you get used to something – things change and of course, we all have our different levels of comfort when it comes to technology. For example with the below example, I stood there by this shop ‘sportsgirl’ at one of the shopping centres and wanted to see do people really understand what to do, if so do they really try it or if they do have a smartphone do they scan with their camera or do they understand that you need an app or a QR code reader for your phone to actually decipher what those funny square barcode look like square box does…

I noticed that a lot of people stared at it, some blokes who were waiting outside the store either with their kids or just on the mobile having a chat after a bit of staring took out their mobile phone cameras and took at picture and were probably waiting for something to happen! Not sure, how many of them really got to experience what sportsgirl was trying to deliver here with this QR code campaign. With this Sportsgirl example, as far as my experience goes – the scan took you a page on a mobile site where you could choose to watch a video or some sort of product hype-reel and if not just move on to signing up to their database. It’s going to be interesting to see where QR codes end up really, and on the other hand I recently read that Kellog’s had some phenomenal success with some 40,000 reads through their QR code campaign. Catch the story here if you want to read more.

Sportsgirl QR code campaign - spotted in Sydney

Sportsgirl QR code campaign - spotted in Sydney

There’s a lot of other technology in this area and similar taking shape too such as Google’s Googles, camera’s that can scan, augmented reality stuff catching up really quickly too…will be interesting to see where the QR codes end up…don’t worry if you think all these seem like tech jargon – we’ll try and get some examples and explain what these really mean…

And for those who are wondering:

  • What is this QR (Quick Response) code really? here’s quick link on Wiki
  • How can I try one on my smartphone?…Simple, just go to the app store or Android Market and search ‘QR code scanner’ and there’s heaps of free ones you could try.

The next time you do spot a QR code, we hope by now you’re aware of it 😉

Happy scanning!


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