This image displays the QR code that contains the URL of my blog.1
A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are most common in Japan, and are currently the most popular type of two dimensional code in Japan.
Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used for inventory management in a wide variety of industries. More recently, the inclusion of QR Code reading software on camera phones in Japan has led to a wide variety of new, consumer-oriented applications, aimed at relieving the user of the tedious task of entering data into their mobile phone. QR Codes storing addresses and URLs are becoming increasingly common in magazines and advertisements in Japan. The addition of QR Codes on business cards is also becoming common, greatly simplifying the task of entering the personal details of a new acquaintance into the address book of one’s mobile phone.2
I am thinking about printing it on the back of my business cards. Not because it is a widely used technology in Europe (yet) but because the graphic intrigues me. The first time I ever came into contact with QR code was at an American airport where I received this piece of paper:
I have no idea what is printed about me on this little piece of paper but when you look at the pattern it is quite complex in contrast to the QR code that contains only my URL. I wish I had a webcam so I could scan it and decode it using a piece of widely available software. Next time I need to buy a new phone I will buy one with a camera and download the Kawya reader to decode QR codes.