What are QR Codes?

Have you seen little black square barcodes on flyers, store fronts, coupons and seemingly everywhere else? If so, you've most likely dismissed them as something not relevant to your interests. Afterall, when have barcodes been useful to anyone other than business owners and manufacturers? This attitude is common for those who don't understand QR codes - the aforementioned "little black square barcode". These barcodes are seen everywhere because they are actually relevant to the average Joe. QR barcode don't just show a boring product or serial number, they can show you a fancy website, play video or even make a phone call!

QR Code stands for "Quick Reponse Code", and it's every bit as it sounds. These barcodes, when scanned, reveal the data within to the user in instants. These QR codes are more than quick though, they're convenient! The statistics for smart phone carriers are through the roof, which is why they were the perfect crowd to target for these new barcodes. By simply downloading a free application, anyone with a usable smart phone camera can scan a QR barcode with the press of a button and decode its contents.

The real surprise for these two dimensional barcodes comes in their function. A lot of punch is packed into such a tiny square barcode. In the largest version of QR codes thousands of characters can be held. Long messages aren't common though, considering a simple scan can launch a phone's web browser, store a contact, view a text message, make a phone call, save a contact or even display coordinates on a map. Anything that can be viewed in a mobile browser can be view by scanning QR code and launching the link in the browser. Many businesses have started to realize just how handy services like this can be and have started to integrate QR codes into their marketing campaigns. Retailers have QR code that show additional product information. Music and TV producers display quick response codes that give downloadable song samples and play video trailers. Businessmen everywhere have started placing QR barcodes onto business cards to make placing a phone call or storing contact information easy. Even real estate agents have gotten into the trend and put QR codes onto "For Sale" signs so house hunters can see photos and virtual tours of houses before even taking a step onto the property.

Once realizing all the things one little barcode can do, the possibilities are clear, and exciting! So how does one get started using them? This is another place where quick response codes shine. A quick search of the internet reveals thousands of free QR code generators, from the most basic to complex, customized versions. After creating one, testing it out is easy with any number of free QR code readers and scanners available for download for any popular smart phone platform. A quick look at the iPhone or Android marketplaces reveals thousands of QR readers, many of which are completely free!

This accessibility coupled with the impressive array of features of QR codes has made them explode onto the market. Businesses are complimenting their most successful advertising ventures with them. On the other end of the spectrum, the average person can create one to put on their personal website, blog, or even social media page. The audience for these quick response codes is much wider than ever before, meaning fast development, new creative uses and a lot of fun experiences for those willing to QR codes a shot.