QR codes

QR (or Bar) codes are becoming more and more prevalent in the advertising industry. They are a great way to convey information.

To demonstrate how such a graphic works, one has been created for AbilityNet's new DSA assessment centre in London.

For this to work, you need a Smartphone, like the iPhone, HTC Desire or similar. You also need a bar scanning App installed.

What you do is activate the scanner and then point the phone's camera at the graphic. You scan the graphic with your mobile phone and (if you have access to the internet) you get presented with a URL which takes you straight to Google maps. Make sure the graphic is properky framed on the camera screen.

This: . . .

QR graphic which contains address information

. . .is the same as this:


This very long link can be shortened, using one of the many websites on the internet who offer URL shortening facilities.

This is what the above long URL looks like once it's been 'shortened':


The wonders of modern technology.

Why use a QR graphic?

It could be useful for people with vision impairment trying to find an address. They either scan it prior to travelling or anyone else can scan this and forward it to the impaired users phone. It works a treat with voice guidance turned on.

The scanned result

Scanning the above link will take you to Google maps and the location of the address encoded in the QR graphic.

Screenshot of a google maps address

How it works in practice

Useful links:

  • URL shortening: http://tinyurl.com/

  • Create a QR graphic. Copy and paste a URL or text into a textbox and click the 'generate' button. You can copy the resultant graphic and paste it onto a document or a website. These graphics can be scanned from the document or from the computer screen.


A practical QR example

A journalist writes a great article about football (soccer), and describes the final goal as the greatest he/she has ever seen. People see a lot of good goals; the reader simply has to take the journalists word for it and assume the goal was great. Introduce QR-Codes and this could all change. If a QR-Code was placed next to the article with a caption advising them they can watch the goal on there mobile phone, the reader could then capture the QR-Code with there mobile phone, this would then direct the users mobile phone to a URL located on YouTube (for example) with the goal. The user could then watch the video and truly see for them selves if the goal was any good. This really empowers the user and makes the newspaper article much more interactive.
Article source: Mobile-Barcodes.com

Screenshot of scanned QR code

Image source: Mobile-Barcodes.com

Everything there is to know about bar codes and QR codes . . .

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