Who’d have thought that something created for tracking cars in the motor industry would become a really useful part of 21st-century living?
This is what’s happened with QR - or Quick Response – codes. These square-shaped barcodes are popping up everywhere from railway stations to high street stores and even on T-shirts.
What’s black and white and red all over?
They might seem intimidating but, once you know how to use them, QR codes are a really useful way of quickly getting lots of information onto your smartphone.
By scanning a QR code with your smartphone’s camera, you can view a website, document, picture or video on your camera almost immediately.
How do they work?
You need to download a QR code scanner from your smartphone’s app market or store. They’re free and they come with detailed instructions but the process is quite simple.
Just frame the QR code with your camera and it will scan it – then open up the information contained in that code.
QR code scanning apps.
Some phones, for example Windows Phones, have a QR code reader built into Bing search. Simply press the search button and then the eye, and you can scan the QR code instantly.
Have you seen them in our stores?
At Three, we’ve been using QR codes to showcase our latest products in 3Stores across the UK. You’ll find QR codes next to selected products and when you scan the code, you’ll go straight through to a video specially created by Three to show you more info about the product you want to buy.
What else can they do?
QR codes can also offer a quick way into a website, so you don’t need to do a search or enter a web address on your smartphone’s internet browser.
They can also take you through to special offers, apps, coupons or useful documents, such as train timetables, that you can download and store on your smartphone.