A casual investigation into QR Codes

On my amiando ticket to a techcrunch event on Thursday that I printed from my PC I found there was a funny deranged chess board pattern in top right corner.

Sticking my camera barcode reader onto it I found I could “read” it and discover the underlying number.

Turns out its called a “QR Code” and is a type of mobile phone friendly bar code.

It works by scanning the code into your phone which converts into either a long number, a telephone number or web address.

To try it use the QR Code above:

1. See if your mobile phone supports QR Codes (Nokia N82, N93, N93i, N95, N95 8GB, E66, E71, E90 or 6220 Classic)

2. Go to applications / Barcode

3. Open your camera shutter

4. Point it at the QR code at the top of this post until it registers

5. Go to the URL and see the funny picture.

I tried this for the first time today and it worked fairly well.

I guess this would suit an offline media campaign where you want to direct response to a complex URL.

So say for example say I was advertising Mamma Mia on DVD I could include the following QR Code on the billboard. 



In theory it will let you Pre-order Mamma Mia on DVD for £12.98 and save £9.01.

Unfortunately I found that this particular QR code was too big for my phone to read. It’s also a bit fiddly to get working in real life. Let me know if you have more luck!

However it does save on typing and is faster than typing out a long URL on your mobile phone.

To create  your own QR Code go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

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3 thoughts on “A casual investigation into QR Codes

  1. dean collins September 16, 2008 at 7:25 pm Reply

    Great post, there are a heap of innovative things you can do with QR codes and the best part is they are free to create with no license fees.

    Check out http://www.Cognation.net/QR if you want some more examples.


  2. Dave Nattriss October 7, 2008 at 3:09 am Reply

    FYI, there are lots more phones that can read QR codes (once they have the right software installed). See: http://reader.kaywa.com/phones

  3. Henry June 13, 2010 at 12:55 am Reply

    Yeah, but in real life, you’d use tinyurl.com to shrink that URL to less than 20 characters!! Then put that in the QR code, or have a redirect on your own site.

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