Have you ever been out and about and noticed those little scrambled black and white boxes? Well those are called QR codes and they are the future of… well I don’t know, but the possibilities are endless. QR codes, or quick response codes are essentially bar codes that are able to store much more information. They can store URLs, geographic coordinates or text, and can be read by any smart phone, or tablet, with a QR reader. When you scan one of these codes your mobile device will display the hidden content right there in your hand.
I’m going to let that sink in because it is pretty awesome. These little scrambled boxes are paper links that, when opened, take you to whatever information their creator wants you to see. From an advertising standpoint the possibilities excite me to no end: coupon codes on products, coded sponsorships, codes that direct to your site, even guerrilla codes, posted anywhere, that take people to your content. The possibilities are endless.
In addition, as a consumer, I’m equally excited for this. It’s like a scavenger hunt. I’m hoping for hidden codes that provide discounts to a particular establishment, or less excitingly, codes that provide more product information on something I see in a magazine, or in an ad. This can literally make any paper media an interactive, and digital experience. I bet newspapers are letting out a collective sigh of relief. This might save them. They could use codes to give more information or insight that you could read on your tablets or phones, allowing them to provide something that you can’t get online. You could use them in museums to provide interactive content to guests, on your resume to link to your online profile, or put them on your business card to provide a prospective client with more information without more paper.
I’m sorry if this is becoming a scrambled, or rambling post, but I am literally coming up with new uses for these things as I write, and my excitement about them is causing my thoughts to get ahead of my fingers.
Anyway, check these things out, make a couple, get a scanner on your phone and start looking for ‘em. They’re out there.