Have you seen one of these around lately? There's a pretty good chance that this looks familiar. They're called Quick Response (QR) codes. Originated in Japan by one of Toyota's subsidiaries, they're comparable to bar codes. The design however, allows for much more information to be stored and it can be accessed more quickly...hence 'Q'uick 'R'esponse.
With a quick download of a QR reader to your smart phone you can use the camera function to access the stored information. The uses vary based on application, but they can store url's, text and other information. For example, the one above is actually all of my professional information - Name, Phone #, Email Address, Website url and Business Address. Who needs business cards anymore? Or instead of using your card reader app (which are consistently inaccurate), you can scan a QR on the back of your contact's business card an instantly have all of the information stored to your phone. I definitely plan on including one on the back of my next batch of cards.
You can download a reader from several sources online, through iTunes or from the Android app store. (Google and Apple aren't the only supported platforms.) I've used two for my iPhone; "i-nigma 4" (free) and Optiscan ($1.99). Surprisingly, the free one has actually performed better for me. If you'd like to make one of your own, go to Kaywa.com. It's incredibly simple to do.
Marketing will be the most common application as I can see it. Granted, at this point, only my most tech savvy potential clients will appreciate them, but as the technology develops they will become more common-place. In my business I plan on using them on property flyers to direct consumers to a single-property webpage, include basic property information and link them to a Virtual Tour of the home. The one above is already on the bottom of my new site NickDailey.com.
QR codes can be added to any print media that you are currently using. A subscriber to your magazine or newsletter can quickly attain information about your product or service. You could include coupons, contest links, product information, contact info or any other info you want your customer to have immediately.
I'm looking forward to seeing the creative ways advertisers begin to incorporate the technology into their campaigns.
How do you see these becoming advantageous to your business??