Sunday, August 14, 2011
QR codes -- the next big thing...
QR (Quick Response) codes were originally developed to track inventory in auto manufacturing, but are rapidly becoming more ubiquitous with the increase in smartphone use. (For a more thorough description, read the Wikipedia entry.) They can encode text, URLs, or other data.
Using a smartphone to scan the code above will take you immediately to my website. (For iPhone users, there is a free app -- "Scan" -- in the app store. Google qr code readers to find other smartphone options.) I can see lots of uses for this -- on a business card, on the back of every painting, on the display tags in sales venues. For your own inventory control, the tags attached to the backs of paintings could be encoded to show date of painting, what materials you used, size, etc.
I just learned about this technology and was going to wait a bit to share this, but I got an email today from an enterprising individual who wants to charge $20 per code to provide you with your custom code. There are so many sites that allow you to make free codes that it would be foolish to pay somebody unless they are providing useful additional services. I have looked at two free sites -- SmartyTags and BeQRious -- but there are many more out there. Google qr codes to check out more options. Of the two listed here, BeQRious allows you to make multiple codes without creating an account, whereas SmartyTags gives you only one free code unless you set up an account.
I'd love to hear from anyone who's had experience with these codes or the sites.