A QR Code (short for Quick Response) consists of a two-dimensional barcode. This stores information in the form of characters and numbers and is used in particular in industry and in advertising.
The QR Code was developed in 1994 by a Japanese company for industry. Advertising now also uses a special code to transport information to the recipient. A lot of information can be accommodated in a square just a few centimeters in size. They are encoded in white and black pixels that are indecipherable to the naked eye. They work in a similar way to the reproduction of information via the binary system with 1 and 0. A QR code can be decrypted and made usable using modern smartphones and tablets with a camera and a corresponding application.
Structure of QR Codes
QR Codes are two-dimensional and therefore always square in shape. The information is stored in so-called modules. The more modules a QR Code has, the larger it is. There are square position markers in three corners of the code, through which the placement of the code can be determined exactly, even in extensive graphics. In addition to the data, a QR Code also contains synchronization elements and the QR Code version number. A QR code can store up to 7,089 numeric characters and up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters.
In contrast, a conventional EAN barcode can store just 13 numeric characters. How much data a QR code can actually store depends on the level of error correction. The higher this is selected, the more frequently the information is repeated. As disk space decreases, more reading errors from corrupted codes can occur.
Use of QR codes
The YouTube video ” What you can do with QR codes… ” shows different examples of how QR codes can be used.
All information that can be represented with letters and numbers can be stored in a QR code. They are used particularly frequently to store long internet addresses, e-mail addresses, contact data, pre-formulated SMS or e-mails, or simple text. With regard to marketing campaigns, QR codes can also be used as a mobile coupon, for example, to go to a landing page with a discount code.
In this context, the possibilities of further digital processing after reading the QR code are particularly interesting. For example, the following activities can be carried out automatically after detection:
- Call up the URL in the browser
- dialing the phone number
- Save bookmark or bookmark
- Save contact data in the phone book (often via vCards)
- Sending a pre-formulated SMS or e-mail
- Calling up geo-data in a route planner (e.g. to display the route to a company) ( geo-marketing )
- Display of entrance tickets or tickets on the display
QR codes can be used on almost any medium that can be printed. In addition to conventional print products such as magazines or advertising posters, contact details can also be displayed on business cards as a QR code. QR Codes can be found on walls, clothing, product, food packaging, admission tickets, and even tattooed into the skin.
Pros and cons of QR Codes
The QR code brings a number of advantages to the user as well as to the advertiser:
- Storage of a lot of data in a small space (up to half a DIN A4 page in one code )
- work even if they are dirty or destroyed
- Creation is possible for everyone using free internet tools
- easy use
- cumbersome typing of URLs or other data in the browser of the smartphone is no longer necessary
- Reading apps available free of charge
- high response to advertisements with QR code
The main disadvantage from the user’s point of view is that he cannot see beforehand what is behind the QR code. He only finds out when he has scanned it. However, if the code contains malware, it can infect the smartphone. Therefore, if possible, you should use scanning software that asks before executing the code whether the execution is actually desired.