Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do You QR?

What the heck is this a picture of?  And why do I care?

As we move into the age of mobile computing, images like this will be more common than ever.  You'll find them on websites, in magazines, brochures and even on buildings and doors of businesses around the world.

So do you know?  Award yourself an extra hour of intenet surfing time if you know that this is a QR image.

A what?  A Quick Response code.  It's a barcode for coding information.

From Wikipedia:
QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
Armed with a smartphone, you can use an app to "read" the QR image you find in the real world that will save you from typing in the text into your mobile browser.   Perhaps it's a URL to an upcoming event.  Or a link to a restaurants online menu or online ordering system.

While there are a number of reader apps, I find that the Google Mobile apps for iPhone and Android do the job well.  Here's the link to Google's QR page where you find Google's app and others to download.

And if you want to create a QR code, an easy way is to use Google's URL shortener service at http://goo.gl/ 
Enter your URL and the site will create a shortened URL that you can use in Twitter and other services.  and if you are logged into Google, just look at the history for the shortened link and click details.  The QR code will be displayed.  You can then save that image to your PC for future use.

And now you know.

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