QR Codes

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You”re seeing them everywhere, so what are they & what”s next?

First came Palm and BlackBerry, then Nokia N95, and finally the iPhone and Android. As our need to be connected anytime, anywhere grew, the latest wave of smartphones gave us exactly what we wanted# – the easy use of the Internet in any location. But that”s really not enough for us. The print industry has taken the next step by integrating the Internet with print in order for the consumer to have real-time information right at their fingertips. Enter the QR code, or Quick Response Code.

QR codes are historically not a new phenomenon; it was invented in the early 90″s by the Japanese Company, DENSO WAVE, Inc. to track automotive parts and labeled a QR code because of its intent to be read at high speeds. Nowadays, a QR code represents just another way of providing fast and interactive information to the consumer. And, with the incorporation of print and the all-time favorite device – the smartphone – readers are able to access information on a company”s products, brands or service 24/7.

So, what does a QR code look like? Maybe you”ve noticed a graphic icon or tile on a print ad or a website or even in this issue of Gwinnett Magazine. QR codes look a bit like a barcode crossed with a Rorschach test. (Oh that!) A smartphone can read these barcodes with the installation of a special application. Referred to as QR Readers, apps are available online for free download. (Android and BlackBerry smartphones are able to read QR codes right out of the box with no application needed.)

Once your app is installed, you”re in business!# You just take a picture of the QR code with your smartphone”s camera, the app you downloaded interprets the information and your smartphone”s network takes you to the Internet address hidden in the code. (In the tech world, this process is known as mobile tagging.) But all you need to know is that in a few clicks, you”re accessing a website or watching a video on your phone.

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