A random Weblog

QR Codes to go
January 24, 2010, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Media, Technology | Tags: , , , , ,

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. (Wikipedia)

I’ve been wondering how these things are catching on – I see a few more all the time, but it’s not exactly an avalanche.

There are plenty of sites that will generate turn your text into a QR code – for the one above I used kaywa.com and from here you can use the image for pretty much anything – business cards, t-shirts, posters, flyers, adverts, and even a plain old blog like this.

One downside I have found is that while it’s an easy scan on the iPhone (plenty of free apps for that), if your QR Code points to a web site that uses Flash, well it won’t render on the iPhone – kind of defeats the point of using your iPhone as a scanner.

I also made a t-shirt with a code I generated at QRStuff – the code file can be ported to Zazzle who will soon have it on a t-shirt for you,  BUT there’s a lesson here. My delivered t-shirt had a code that was a bit like the truncated address you get from a service like Tiny URL.  This kind of frustrated me as that isn’t what I wanted.  If someone scans my QR Code they should get an idea of where they’re going off the URL (my URL) and not see someone else’s domain as the decoded message.  Sure it eventually points to my URL in the same way Tiny URL does, but this is what you get if you use QRStuff as a free-user.  Another risk is that the parent URL (qrstuff) is out of my control – if they go bust my referral service is lost. So, the free-access to their generator is for fun but not really suited to business use – for that you’ll need to pay with QRStuff.  

Lastly, if you use a free iPhone app like i-nigma as you camera/scanner you can scan if off screen before you commit to your code.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

As I mentioned to you by email, if you had signed up as a QR Stuff registered user you would have been able to generate the QR Code with your choice of shortened URL or native URL. This is also mentioned on the website itself.

As with pretty much any other service oriented website, free anonymous accounts are for “fun” users, while registered accounts are for those who take things a bit more seriously.

qrstuff.com is not a “just for fun” website, but at its lowest level it still caters for “just for fun” users who wish to use the service for free. If you choose to engage as a business user, you get business level features.

Comment by Greg

While I don’t recall an email I’ll take it as done. This seems a fair approach that Greg has outlined in his comment here. Thanks for the info.

Comment by zeofoto

Thanks! One other feature I’d point out is that the QR codes generated by registered users continue to work even if the account subsequently expires. The only purpose for having an account is to access extended features for QR code generation (such as hi-res image file creation, native URL encoding, etc). Once the code has been created those features are locked into the code itself and are not dependent on the continuation of the account, or time-limited in any way. This was done intentionally so as not to compromise the long term needs of my business users.

Comment by Greg

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