Monday, March 28, 2011

What is That Screwed Up Bar Code Thingy

Have you seen that little black square that looks like a bar code on drugs? Well you can make them and use them for free, but you have to know what they are first.

Amplify’d from

Marketers embracing QR codes, for better or worse

Brands such as Macy's are using black-and-white QR, or Quick Response, codes in magazine ads to market themselves.
A confused crossword puzzle. A psychedelic postage stamp. A bar code on drugs
This is how a QR, or Quick Response, code may appear to most people. You may have noticed these black-and-white squares showing up in subway ads or in pages of magazines. Thanks to our growing addiction to our smartphones, you'll likely be seeing more of them.

QR codes are showing up in more and more places: posters, storefront window displays, TV advertisements, business cards, websites and even on T-shirts. When accessed with your phone, a QR code takes you to a landing page where you'll usually find special promotional content.

Here's how they work:

First, you must download a QR scanning application for your smartphone. When you see a QR code on a poster or billboard, open the scanning app and use the phone's camera to focus the code on your screen. The application will recognize the code and automatically open up the link, video or image in your phone's browser. You just need an internet connection to access the content.

Many QR scanning applications -- RedLaser is a popular one -- are available for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Symbian phones. Anyone can generate their own QR code for free. And you can link it to anything -- from URLs to contact information to your GPS location.

Brands and companies are increasingly taking advantage of this relatively low-cost marketing tool. Last year, the animated movie "9" was promoted with green posters containing only a large QR code that took users to a new trailer and special features.

A recent issue of Wired magazine included an ad by watchmaker Tag Heuer that contained a QR code that led users to images of its latest collection of timepieces. Magazine ads have used QR codes to promote everything from hair-care products to sheepskin boots to diamonds.


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