Google makes it easy to get a QR Code. Any URL you create can be shortened and given a QR Code. QR stands for Quick Response, it looks like the image to the left, square, 3 distinct corners and crazy black and white pixel-art in between. QR Codes became popular in Japan after Toyota developed them as a new way to ID their cars.
I was in Sam’s Club the other day looking at cameras. I saw the QR Code and scanned it with my Android phone for more information about the camera. Think about it, there is a very small footprint for retailers to display products. QR Codes can provide information without taking up valuable shelf space (and saves a lot of trees, too!) In the near future, I suspect all mobile phones will come standard with cameras. Free code-reader applications can be downloaded to any smart phone, but I suspect they will eventually become standard, too.
Why do you need one? Well, for one…it’s cool. And you can come up with all sorts of fun things like adding a recipe to a food product, a coupon to a sales item, a free white paper with a report, or video installation instructions on product packaging. Anything you can put on your website can be directed to via a QR Code. QR Codes work well on any printed item, including, postcards, business cards, flyers, vehicle graphics, billboards, etc…
Google also provides free usage reports for tracking how many times the QR Code has been scanned. Yes, it’s free. Another reason we love Google and how they will eventually take over the world.
Other companies are competing with Google to develop their own codes, but I’m banking that Google will have QR Codes around for a while. Even still, you might not want to print 50,000 brochures just yet. For now, get a free QR Code and experiment. And, don’t forget to print and test the code first to make sure it works 🙂
Here’s how to get one:
Instructions for Using Google’s QR Code Generator
- Go to Google URL shortener at goo.gl
- Shorten your URL
- Select details
- Right click on image and save the graphic (make the name very descriptive in case you get several)