QR Codes: Using the code

Continuing my reading and searching on QR Codes, and before I start getting into how I think we can use them in learning, education and HE Institutions, etc, I think it’s worth looking into how you can create them, how you read them, and some other interesting facts.

Creating your QR Code
There  are a number of ways of creating your own QR Code, but the most widely used is this website from Kaywa – qrcode.kaywa.com. You have the options of the size of QR code generated (small to x-large) and the type of information you want to store in it (URL, text, SMS, phone number). You can either download the image and use repeatedly, or use the supplied HTML code and link to the image on their server.

Another website worth keeping in your favourite list is the AppSpot website – createqrcode.appspot.com. Again, you can embed whatever text you want and this one gives you a few more options on the QR code size it generates (depending on amount of information you want to store.

The final one I’ll mention (although there are many more if you search) is from Mobile Barcodes – www.mobile-barcodes.com. This one ggives you a few more options and defines the different types of information a little better between URL, Vcard, Message, Phone number, SMS, or Email.

You can generate your own QR Code on your phone, but I’ll get into that when I talk about phone apps that can read (and create) the codes.

Using your QR Code
I’ll not get to into the school/educational aspect of QR Codes yet, I want to save this for another post, but want to showcase a few interesting ways that QR Codes have been used so far.

I have already mentioned how Pepsi are using the QR Code on their bottles and cans, and how the distributors of the DVD for ’28 Weeks Later’  have used them … the following excerpt from the BBC Click programme (from 2007) – Gia Milinovich is the ‘artist’ interviewed who create the film poster.

What about this … a baby-grow with the company website embedded in it?

There are many ways these codes can be used for marketing, and the only thing stopping you/us using them is that (a) some might not ‘get’ the joke or impact of them, or (b) the codes are not exactly fashionable or particularly interesting. But, the more these are used by big companies like Pepsi and the like, the more they may start to filter into everyday life. Really?

There are some good examples and case studies on QR Codes and how they’re being used for marketing if you do the search, but here are a few to get you started:

Mobile Handsets
Here is a good list of handsets that are compatible with the different codde readers available: www.qrme.co.uk/qr-code-resources/qr-code-readers.html