Technology Report: Not So Secret Codes

Do you ever see something in a store and wish you could know more about it? Would you like to compare pricing for that product right now on the spot? Now you can with a QR (quick response) code!

If that sounds like a used car commercial, it’s only because I am very excited about the idea of QR codes. In the past year, I’ve acquired a smart phone (topic for another day) and now texting and surfing the web on-the-go have never been easier. However, my phone is not exactly an iPhone or Android-based, so QR codes can help. A QR code is like a barcode but it can contain a lot more information due to its square shape. Best of all, it can be used by any camera phone that can connect to the Internet. The bottom line is that for phones lacking apps, QR codes can make things easier. And for iPhone and Android users, it can make your phone experience – believe it or not – even better!

Benefits of QR codes:
  • Since QR codes basically represent information, the usage possibilities are endless. Announce your taste in images, music, or food to all your friends in a simple compact square, or use it to brand your own shirt or hat, or create temporary tattoos.
  • The code lives up to its name. Find out information fast about the product/company/person using the QR code.

For the QR Code Creator

An example of a QR code. Scan it with your phone and see where this code takes you.

How to create and use QR codes:
Newer smart phones come equipped with a reader for QR codes but for those of us not among the lucky, downloading a QR reader is necessary. Please check to make sure that your phone is supported by the reader before downloading.

To create a QR code, additional generator software is needed, though this is not differentiated by phones. QR readers and generators are free; here are some standouts:

  • BeeTagg
    • Reader – Supports a large variety of phones
  • Kaywa
  • Maestro
    • Generator – Creates QR code for many formats such as phones, sms, maps, etc.
  • Beqrious
    • Generator – Save your QR code as a gif or PDF
  • NeoReader
    • Reader – Rated the as one of the best iPhone readers by Cnet news

You’ll probably notice that this issue of in the Mix Magazine features many QR codes. Delve into the possibilities and join us!