What's The Deal With All These Goofy Boxes?

Chances are you've seen goofy little squares like the one pictured above somewhere lately. They're on posters, advertisements, and websites. The other day I was in Home Depot and saw them on their plants for sale. If you haven't seen a weird square like this, pay attention and you will!

They're the latest rage in quick advertising. They're called QR Codes (short for Quick Response). They are two-dimensional barcodes that can contain text, web site addresses, email addresses, contact information, links to maps, and more! All you need to access the "hidden" material is a QR reader.

And, as you've probably guessed, there are a multitude of FREE QR readers for your smart phone. I have an iPhone and my favorite is one simply called Scan. All  I have to do is launch the program, point at the QR code and Scan automatically opens the code. If it's contact info, I can add it to my contact list. If it's a web address, Scan opens the site. It's amazingly simple.

If you want to create your own QR codes, there are smart phone apps for that, but I find the free websites much easier to use. My favorite so far is ZXing at http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/. Select what you want (URL, email, contact info, etc.), type in the data, and click generate. Then you can download your code for use elsewhere.

So get on the QR bandwagon! By the way, the QR code pictured above has my contact info, so scan away!

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