May 2, 2011


By Dan Adams

We’ve all seen them, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and many of our favorite magazines are now displaying a funny little maze like box. They direct us to email, notes, websites, videos and more. Even the airlines are wanting you to download this code on your smart phone and scan it for entry!

So what are they? They are similar to barcodes, however they are called a QR-CODE.

By definition, the QR-Codes are a two dimensional barcode (datamatrix) that is designed to have it’s contents decoded at high speed. Hence the reason it’s called QR (Quick Response) Code.

These QR-Codes were initially used for tracking parts by vehicle manufacturers. However, they now have moved rapidly into the mobile phone and mobile internet. QR-Codes can be used to store data like URLs, personal business card information and advertising where the user of the smart phone can visit or email immediately to the recipient.

Here’s an example of a QR Code

So if you are one of those who own a smartphone, go ahead, give it a try! Ummm… well, first you must go download a QR reader, which is pretty easy to do. Generally the best way is to download an app from the app store on your phone. They are free and easy to download.

The biggest reason that I downloaded my app is so I can easily connect offline and online content. I no longer need to type into my phone a complex URL, I can simply snap a photo and it takes me to the appropriate page of the website without being all thumbs.

I’ve also found it very useful to snap the photo and email the url, email or video to myself so I can look at it later on my computer.

Whatever the reason, I’m sure you’ll see them more and more, so you may as well add one more app!

Dan Adams can be contacted by calling (563) 505-8821 or at

Filed Under: News, Technology

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