What’s In a QR Code?

By Aaron Dunford | July 18, 2011

What is that? That is the common question people have when they first see the matrix of small black and white squares known as a QR Code.

Developed in 1994 by Denso-Wave, the QR Code is a two dimensional barcode that was initially used to track automotive parts during manufacturing. Now with the proliferation of smartphones the QR Code is finding its place in mainstream American culture.

Short for “quick response,” the QR Code’s two dimensional design allows it to be read from any angle and greatly increases its storage capacity compared to a typical one dimensional barcode you might see standing in line at the grocery store.

QR codes can be read with any smartphone that has a built in camera and QR Code reader. There are several readers available for download. A recommended free reader is i-nigma from 3GVision which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, Blackberry App World, and the Android Market. To scan a QR code initiate your QR code reader and point your phone’s camera lens on the code. The reader scans the code through your phone’s camera.

Currently when a smartphone user scans a QR Code the code can be designed to take the user to a Web site, download information to their phone, including contact information or important dates, initiate a phone call or e-mail, and even be programmed with specific locations to help with directions.

These unique abilities have resulted in QR Codes being used as a powerful marketing tool. Today QR Codes can be seen on billboards, in magazine ads, restaurant menus, and even on clothing.

Within this article we have included a QR Code that links to an Insurance Journal podcast covering QR Codes in greater detail.

In addition, QR Codes can be found in an Insurance Journal ad promoting the download of our News App, and within the Excess, Surplus & Specialty Markets Directory.

The QR Code is proving to provide a powerful platform to access information quickly. They are gaining greater traction in the United States and will likely evolve into even more exciting technology.

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Insurance Journal West July 18, 2011
July 18, 2011
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