I had been ignoring coverage of the funky looking black and white box in the image above too. It looks like it’s for retailers or people with flying cars, not for me (which is code for “I was intimidated by it because it looked scary“). But guess what? This stuff is easy and you should check it out, it only takes a few seconds!
Get to the Point
Okay. The two dimensional code you see next to Rosie the Robot is called a QR Code which is short for “Quick Response” and it’s simply a matrix bar code that contains information. QR Codes were initially used as a tracking mechanism (do you recognize it from the FedEx box where the delivery guy points his reader at it and it scans info?) but leave it to tech geeks to make it apply to our daily lives.
If one person has a cell phone that is equipped to read a QR Code, they point and click at the QR Code and it will hardlink to the website that is programmed in the QR Code, in other words if you have a QR Code printed on your business card, the guy next to you on the train can point his cell phone at it and it will automatically enter your URL into their browser and BAM, they’re playing around on your site! Pretty cool, huh?
That IS Easy & Useful, How Do I Do It?
- Step One: go enter your URL to automatically generate a fancy QR code.
- Step Two: familiarize yourself with what phones are currently equipped to read QR codes (so you don’t get embarrassed when you tell a new buddy who has a Treo “hey, point your phone here, dude”).
- Step Three: print your new QR code on the back of your cards, or use this template for an index-card sized, double sided business card that is centered around the QR code.
I told you this was easy! Aren’t you glad you didn’t ignore yet another article about the QR code? It’s not rocket science and it won’t change how the world turns, but it’s pretty dang cool.
Originally published on October 7, 2008.