Business Applications of QR

(Original post @ Tech Cocktail )

Using QR Codes (2D barcodes) For Business

by Patrick Donnelly on May 5, 2010

qr code

The goal of QR code technology is to turn brand impressions into an interactive exchange in under 10 seconds.  – Patrick Donnelly

QR is one of the best lo-fi hacks I have seen. Quick response codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be read by most camera cell phones. They hold a lot more information then linear barcodes and are gaining popularity in the consumer market. QR codes are a new approach to content delivery, and connecting people with a brand.

Cliff notes of the Wikipedia entry on QR…
Quick response “QR” codes use your phone’s camera as a barcode scanner to access encoded data. The encapsulated data can be a link to a youtube video, another URL, V-card or any text or hypertext you chose. By using an “app” (I recommend I-nigma for iPhone) on your smartphone called a “QR reader” you can decode the desired data and experience the programmed content on your mobile device. The code itself has three alignment squares that allow the reader to orient itself and the center pixels are the actual informational bits.

Value and practical application of 2-D codes…
In full disclosure I am passionate about these little square nuggets, but not for the reasons you may guess. I am not saying that QR codes are going to revolutionize the future. Rather they are the link to a future that is still just out of reach for the modern day consumer and vendor. QR codes are merely a step in the right direction to enhance mobilized communication – they are the VCR to link us to the DVD.  I assure you they are not a beta player. If you can integrate QR codes into your current IT and communications strategy, there is a large potential return, at a minimal investment.

Here are some advantages of using QR codes:

  1. Free to create and use – open sourced technology
  2. Scans fast
  3. Compact with a high error tolerance
  4. Data can be ANYTHING
  5. Hard-linked codes can connect to variable data
  6. An intimate targeted experience (UX)
  7. Already widely used in Asia – thus a capacity for global integration
  8. Will encourage the adoption of mobile web content and design

Applications for business use:

  1. Print and web integration
  2. Extra information
  3. Networking
  4. Geo-centric kiosks or displays
  5. Fine art
  6. Storefronts and coupons
  7. Educational/exhibit design
  8. Direct downloads
  9. Computer screen to phone interactions
  10. Data transmission

Have QR Questions? Leave them in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Patrick Donnelly of QRArts. QRArts uses QR as a tool to help clients shape strategies for media integration to enhance user experiences and increase ROI. They specialize in custom designed QR codes and mobile web to create experiences as unique as your brand. Patrick will also be on hand to answer questions at DC Mobile TECH cocktail presented by Windows Phone 7 on May 5th.You can follow Patrick on Twitter: @QrArts

  1. June 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Haven’t seen much use yet for Medical Groups and QR. Can you describe ways for use other than maybe a mobile referral source?

    • June 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      I am sure there is lots of information that could be encoded or hyperlinked in the medical industry. Did you have a specific area you were interested in ? I wouldn’t recommend QR for life threatening information, and I am sure HIPAA would have some concerns, but I am sure there are some opportunities in this field. -pd

  2. July 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    hi, i run an Exhibit Design company in Mumbai, India, (, could you let me know the usage of QR Codes in the field of Exhibit Design. Rgds

    • July 17, 2010 at 12:58 am

      Hi Niloy, I have used QR codes in a museum as an augment to the exhibit or piece of art. I created mobile-friendly web pages for each installation with info about the artist, item, or display. I made a small QR code sign to put near each display that you could scan. The response has been fairly good, we are still educating the public about QR codes but people are getting better at installing apps now.

  3. July 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    @Niloy, Havent seen anything per se. I did a presentation to the Smithsonian, but it did not go through. I will let you know if anything comes across my radar.

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