This blog is about technology, software and social media. It's aimed as much towards 'normal' people as the tech savvy. The author is Tony Gallacher.
QR (Quick Response) codes are a convenient way to transfer information directly into your smartphone, so that you don’t have to spend time typing it in.
Everywhere you look there’s a QR code these days. You’ll find them on advertising posters, at the end of blog posts, attached to museum exhibits and, in extreme cases, painted on the top of the Facebook building. Often they will just point you to some promotion, at the other end of a long URL.
They can be put to lots of other uses, though. When you scan one, it can send an SMS, dial a phone number, transfer details of an event or store a vCard. A vCard is an electronic format for storing a set of contact details.
Moo.com lets you embed a vCard into a QR code and print it onto your business cards. The site will create the QR code for you. You just enter your name, email, etc. into an online form. The QR code is generated from those and added to your card.
I like this use of QR codes. It’s a quick and easy way for someone to scan your details into their address book, at the time you meet. So it’s much more likely they’ll add you as a contact before, inevitably, they toss your card in a desk drawer, later that day.
(A mock up of my business card is on the right. I’ve altered the card and the QR code printed on it, to remove my phone number.)
There are lots off apps for scanning QR codes into your smartphone. You’ll find a range on Google Play for Android and the Apple app store for the iPhone. I’ve used QRReader and RedLaser for the iPhone. Both let me scan various types of data, with no problems. Barcode scanners will also scan QR codes.
QR codes are a good time saver for a contact or a potential customer. It’s an easy method you can use to exchange all your contact information, without anyone having to enter it ‘by hand.’
Although there are other ways to do this, QR codes have two main advantages: they work across all devices and many people have a barcode or QR scanner app on their phone.
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