Today’s post is going to cover, what a QR code is, what is it used for, QR obstacles, what are the best practices for QR Codes, and what are the worst practices for that matter, additionally I will be sharing some good examples of QR Code usage. Nevertheless I want to share that while preparing this post, I aggregated several links about another topic, and that is “Augmented Reality”. So if you’re as excited as I am about the AR fuss, then stay tuned. For now, it’s QR Code time!
What is a QR Code?
QR Code is abbreviated from Quick Response Code. It is a 2-dimensional code, and readable by QR barcode readers, and recently an application for that is available with the smart phone you acquire, if not, you can just download (android). So yeah. it’s like a barcode, but it’s not bars, it’s a matrix.
What is it used for?
Just like any other code, a QR code is unique. Which means, that you can set a QR Code for any link out there, and when scanning that code, it will take you to that online location. The possibilities are endless on what it can be used for. And you will see in the examples how that happens. Some people use it as contact information, and then use their QR Codes as their avatars for example, and then bam, you scan it, and you add them as a contact on your phone book.
(This QR Code actually displays Nadine Issa – Point a la ligne – contact information, email, blog URL and mobile number)
Hmmm, well QR Code scanning is simple. I know, right? It just needs the code, and a barcode scanner on your phone. Et voila. But some people still don’t know that it’s scannable, and how it can be scanned. So launching QR Code campaigns in Lebanon, is going to require some awareness prior to that, or just wait till it picks up with time (are we gonna wait really?).
Shtrumf restaurant did the below, they said “Scan with your phone”. Hmmm I tried it, it takes you to their facebook page. Okay I guess… Nothing special there. They’re one of the first people to use it, but they used it in a very ordinary way. Maybe we can’t expect more at this point?
Worst practices of QR Codes
QR code for your website URL on your website is useless. It’s like putting the address of your shop on your shop’s door. The idea of the QR is to take someone from the offline world (most of the time), to a certain link, be it an application, a special post, a surprise package, a discount, etc… well with their phones!
QR Best practices
It can be done with the rallye papers we do a lot in Lebanon, instead of providing links to participants, just provide QR codes hidden in a tree or something. Or perhaps if there is an event and you want your audience to feel special, you post a QR code every once in a while, and they’d go in and see their photos. Or even better, whoever scans the QR code first, goes to the website, and subscribes gets to win something at the end of the night. Etc…
Okay here comes the best part of the post. Some inspiring existing campaigns of how QR was used, and how we can hopefully find a cool way to implement it more in Lebanon. For example you got a street advertisements, promoting a product and you want people to know more about it, you can simply put a QR code (be the first, subscribe today, etc…)
Most creative usage of QR have been actually integrated with Augmented Reality.
Demonstration of graduation project, in which 2D barcodes are used to calibrate the user’s position in a mobile AR system.
Most examples of cool QR Code usage have been integrated with AR, so that is why, next post will be fully dedicated to AR.
Now this is one of the best usage of QR Codes, TESCO are a home depot store kinda thing, they got to become the #1 online, and #2 offline (without increasing the number of stores). How did they do that? Well, they brought the stores to people Just scan and buy.
You can also check 8 more examples of using QR codes for marketing and/or brand awareness.
But before I finalize this post, I want you to check the below link, this is special to me, as it was the very first time I have learned what a QR Code is, and how it does all this augmented reality world. Hopefully, we can do something as fun in Downtown Beirut, any developers in the house?
1st AR Flash mob in Amsterdam
the majority of people will be photographing the empty space beside Darth. Because that space will be occupied by virtual ‘human sculptures’, brought alive by Augmented Reality applications on iPhones and Android devices!
For more details on these QR models, check the whole story about the AR flash mob in Amsterdam here.
Edited: This is a very detailed article on GIGAlb that you should check out “The Beginner’s guide to QR Codes“