Navigating QR codes
A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.
Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-orientated applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging).
Many mobile phone operating systems now coming with scanning software installed as standard. Google’s mobile Andriod operating system supports the use of QR codes by natively including the barcode scanner (ZXing) on some models and the browser supports URI redirection, which allows QR Codes to send megadata to existing applications on the device. Nokia’s Symbian operating systems is also provided with a barcode scanner.
Benefits of using a QR Code within a publication.
• To enrich and enliven content:
• Provide breaking news, alerts and headlines/ news updates/ video news.
• Video clips to accompany relevant stories and advertising campaigns.
• Audio clips related to a story, product or service.
• Pictures related to a story, product or service.
And perhaps importantly from a advertisers perspective, the ability to take the reader-viewer further into a story once through the originating URL. This ability provides an advertiser utlising QR Codes a multiplying effect. Whereas ordinarily an advertiser has a placement within a publication and that’s usually the end of the story. They now have the ability to position an advertisement embedded URL, and from there, potentially be taken on a further journey around the advertisers domain, but only if the reader is inclined to do so.
• Print becomes interactive, enabling people to interact with editorial and advertising content anywhere, in real time 24/7
• Comprehensive editorial and advertising management capabilities including full analysis on performance, scan locations and management
• Allows editorial content and advertising to become more appealing to readers, promoting increased readership and higher sales
How to use and access the content behind the QR code
You will need a phone with camera and internet enabled. As discussed above, many phones now come with readers installed. For mobiles without an installed reader, one can be downloaded for free by texting ‘rdr’ to +61 (0)429 112 756. A message will be sent back with a link to allow download of the software applicable to your phone. Also worth noting that you can scan a code form the digital version online.
Why would anyone want to?
The use of QR codes allows for an added layer of details to be added to a feature whether for editorial or promotional reasons. The intent being to allow bite sized, ‘value adding’ information, which will enhance the readers awareness and understanding. The key advantage in utilising a QR code, being the simplicity to scan rather than typing a lengthy web address.