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What Are QR Codes?

QR Codes - Bridging the Gap

Between the Physical World and the World-Wide-Web

Posted May 22, 2012 by

A Qfuse QR Code

So we talk about them a lot on this site, but just what is a QR Code? Well, if you live in the U.S. you may have begun to notice some unusual-looking square boxes appearing in print publications and advertisements. These 2D matrix barcodes are called QR Codes , or Quick Response Codes.

QR Codes are similar to the standard bar codes that currently appear on all types of consumer products (think bottom of your favorite breakfast cereal). However, QR Codes can contain much more information than traditional barcodes.

You can think of a QR Code as a paper-based hyperlink that connects the physical world with the online world. For marketers, your unique QR Codes allows advertisements, brochures, posters - even clothing or billboards - to direct users to a mobile landing page. This integration between print and web via mobile adds a new dimension of communication to any marketing or outreach effort.

How Do QR Codes Work?

A QR Code works by simply scanning the code with a mobile device that is equipped with a camera and QR Code reader application. These applications can be downloaded for free on popular smartphone platforms such as iPhone and Android.

Once the QR Code is scanned, it is translated into actionable information, such as a text message or opening a mobile web page.

Ways to Use a QR Code...

  1. Flyers or posters - to help promote a event or an upcoming 'gig'; share info on your site they wouldn't get on a normal flyer (e.g. video)
  2. Stickers or a tee-shirt - novelty is key; make them curious and they will scan...
  3. Invitations - for example share driving directions, additional info, photos, or allow RSVPs...
  4. Business cards - promote yourself more memorably than you would with a simple email address, phone number, and a title
  5. Marketing materials - such as brochures, advertisements, in-store displays, window decals, etc
  6. Think up your own ideas...

Avoid QR Code Pitfalls and Common Mistakes!

Unfortunately many people use QR Codes incorrectly! If you're interested in not just using QR Codes but using them correctly and most effectively, read our article about QR Code Best Practices.


We encourage you to learn how Qfuse makes it easy to generate and manage QR codes. Qfuse also provides robust QR code analytics to make reporting on QR scan data a piece of cake.


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What is a QR Code?

From Wikipedia ~

A QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any kind of data (e.g., binary, alphanumeric, or Kanji symbols).[1]

Created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process,[2][unreliable source?] the QR Code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. It was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.[3]

The technology has seen frequent use in Japan; the United Kingdom is the seventh-largest national consumer of QR Codes.[4]