What are QR codes and how to use?
What are QR codes?
A QR code is a type of barcode that can be read easily by a digital device and which stores information as a series of pixels in a square-shaped grid. QR codes are frequently used to track information about products in a supply chain and – because many smartphones have built-in QR readers – they are often used in marketing and advertising campaigns. More recently, they have played a key role in helping to trace coronavirus exposure and slow the spread of the virus.
The first QR code system was invented in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary. They needed a more accurate way to track vehicles and parts during the manufacturing process. To achieve this, they developed a type of barcode that could encode kanji, kana, and alphanumeric characters.
Our QR codes can be used to:
- Link directly to your bio page.
- Link to your website, youtube video, social media campaign and much more with a shortened URL.
We want to make out QR code easy to scan so that operatives did not waste time getting it at the right angle. We also wanted it to have a distinctive design to make it easy to identify.
How do I scan QR codes?
Most smartphones have built-in QR scanners, which are sometimes built in the camera. A QR scanner is simply a way to scan QR codes.
Some tablets, such as the Apple iPad, have QR readers built into their cameras.
Some older devices may require a particular app to read QR codes – these apps are readily available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Scanning a QR code using your device is straightforward:
- Open the QR reader application or the camera on your smartphone.
- Point it at the QR code – you should be able to point your camera from any angle and still receive the necessary information.
- The data will be instantly shown on screen – for instance, if the QR code contains contact details, your phone should instantly download these.
How do QR codes work?
The patterns within QR codes represent binary codes that can be interpreted to reveal the code's data.
A QR reader can identify a standard QR code based on the three large squares outside the QR code. Once it has identified these three shapes, it knows that everything contained inside the square is a QR code.
The QR reader then analyzes the QR code by breaking the whole thing down to a grid. It looks at the individual grid squares and assigns each one a value based on whether it is black or white. It then groups grid squares to create larger patterns.
QR code use examples
QR codes are used in numerous contexts – for example:
QR codes in sales and marketing
Many advertisers use QR codes in their campaigns because it provides a faster and more intuitive way to direct people to websites than by entering URLs manually.
They can also be used to link directly to product pages online. For instance, if you were searching for the exact dress a model was wearing in a poster, a QR code could directly take you to the web page where you could purchase it.
QR codes for coronavirus tracing
The coronavirus pandemic has supercharged the use of QR codes. For example, in the UK, visitors to hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants are invited to scan a QR code upon arrival using the NHS Covid-19 tracing app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of the virus. If someone tests positive for Covid-19 at that venue, other visitors to the location are alerted by an app, thanks to the data accumulated from QR code scans.
QR codes on product packaging
You may also find QR codes on the packaging for some of your favorite products. These QR codes can reveal information about the product, such as nutritional information or special offers you can use next time you make a purchase.
QR codes in industry
QR codes were initially invented to help track parts in vehicle manufacturing, and they are still used throughout the manufacturing industry. You'll also find QR codes used by other businesses that need to keep a close eye on products and supplies, such as the construction, engineering, and retail industries.
QR codes in postal services
Postal services around the world also use them. Because they can contain a large amount of information, they are often relied upon to track parcels. For example, global fashion brand ASOS have moved entirely to QR codes for tracking refunds.
QR codes in education
QR codes are also used in schools and colleges to help engage with students. They have appeared everywhere, from the classroom to the library, for tasks such as helping students find the books they are searching for.
Where can i find my QR code on YouLinkTo?
You can find your QR codes in your dashboard. See image below..