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Published on August 6th, 2014 | by Sally Wenham

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QR Codes – The Basics

You may have begun to notice an influx of little black and white squares being displayed on all manner of things – from billboards to food packaging and practically everything in between! These little monochrome wonders are QR codes. QR is an abbreviation of Quick Resolution and these codes are the natural progression from the barcode.

A traditional barcode has the facility to store information within a number of vertical lines. A QR code differs from that as it stores information in both directions and can be read either vertically or horizontally. There’s also a huge difference in the amount of numbers a QR code can store too, a barcode can store up to 30 whereas a QR code can store up to a staggering 7089!

QR codes were first used as early as 1994, in the Japanese motoring industry. Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota began attaching QR codes to their car parts in order to track them during the manufacturing process. QR codes were used to enable high speed component scanning.

From those industrial beginnings, the use of QR codes has expanded rapidly and they are now used in a wide range of commercial environments. You can now see QR codes used for advertising a wide range of products or services.

Thanks to the capacity of QR codes, you can use them for a number of applications. The easiest way to use a QR code is to embed a URL within it. This means that you can direct consumers to your website quickly and easily. However, due to the versatility of this system there are many ways you can use these to your advantage.

For example you can store information such a phone numbers, addresses or even a virtual business card within a QR code. One of the most innovative examples we have found so far is users who have begun using QR codes on their holiday luggage in place of the traditional luggage tag!

Reading a QR code is quite easy now thanks to the success of the smart phone. There are many applications which will read a QR code for you, all you have to do is use your camera and take a photograph of the code. Once you’ve done that – the application translates the information for you!

Another advantage to using QR codes is that there are a number of applications there which will allow you to create your own. Why don’t you purchase a pack of Avery QR Code Labels and give it a go yourself!

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