What is a QR Code?

QR stands for Quick Response. A QR code is a two-dimensional bar
code, in a standard digital format that gives you a quick link to
information.

What can a QR Code do for me?

A QR code takes you right to the website page you need – using your
smart phone. You scan the QR code and then hit the button to go to the
destination website!  QR codes can also contain a simple text message or information in formats which can work
with other apps, such as contact details (an electronic business card), a phone number (for
quick dialing), event details (to add to the calendar).

A little history

QR codes were developed by Denso, an automotive parts supplier subsidiary of Toyota. Denso
needed a way to store detailed information on automotive components, and standard
barcodes were not able to store enough information. The use of Japanese Kanji characters
exacerbated the problem as characters are data intensive.

Why are QR codes becoming so popular?

Browsing the web with a mobile phone is now commonplace and there are many occasions
where it is useful to obtain information on the go. QR codes provide one of the simplest ways
to get information when using a mobile phone.

How do I use my phone to read a QR code?

It’s easy. Just download a phone app, for example from the list below.

Android  – Google Googles, Red Laser – Android Market

Blackberry – Blackberry App, World App, Messenger, QR Code Scanner – Blackberry App World

iPhone – Qrafter, Red Laser  – Use iTunes to access the iTunes

Alternatives
There are many other types of bar codes, designed for specialist purposes, such as for airline
tickets and for postal mailing addresses. These codes often use dedicated readers.
Microsoft TAG is similar to a QR code and used in some advertizing. The TAG has a triangular
grid and uses color. A dedicated app is available from Microsoft for reading Tag codes.

Thank you Simon Fermor for pulling this summary together.

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