Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2953 Bytes, no sharks need apply.

         Every once and a while something comes along that gives me goose bumps !   No, it is not a Great White cruising up from below, it is the QR code.  Now, let me 'splain.

The QR code is a little ( or big ) dot matrix code that you may already have seen in magazines, billboards, or even paintings and dog t-shirts!   They look just like the design just to the right of this blog.   Apart from being quite cute they are amazing little doodles!   They can contain 2,953 Bytes of information.   To you math nuts out there, that is 7089 Numeric characters.   To you typists out there, that number equals 4,296 characters of information.

These codes are read by any portable type scanner ( I-Phone etc ) and communicates with the person scanning in many ways.   It took a friend of mine roughly 5 seconds to search for-download-install the free scanner code for her I-Phone.   One more click and she was looking at my web site.   Any goose bumps yet?   Just think how easy it is to link to a web page or blog etc. with one of these free yet cute little codes. 

Now, as a printer, I see these QR codes being used on business cards, brochures, newsletters, envelopes, etc...    They could even be used to link to a unique coupon or special web page to test mailing response rates or...?

They were invented by a car parts company in Japan in 1994 and I believe they are about to explode in use in America.   Talk to your printer about these neat codes and don't miss the new wave.

As someone once said "Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone".   Hope this post makes you wise to a great opportunity.  

I would love to hear of other great uses and ideas on these codes.   Someone with a bit of time could come up with quite a cool pattern for a Navajo rug for one. 
Read comment #1 below...it is very good!

1 comment:

jeparsons said...

Thanks, Gary. Printers and print buyers are just starting to see the potential of QR Codes -- which is enormous -- but there are some caveats.

The key to success with this technology is not just creating and printing the tag, it's mainly about the mobile experience behind the code. Just pointing to any old Web site is usually a big mistake. The landing page must be optimized for smartphone or feature phone browsers, with their limited computing power and small screens. It must also provide real engagement: a satisfying reason to spend time on the site, plus a meaningful action to choose.

There are both good and bad examples of QR Code campaigns out there. For some of the good ones, check out Warbasse Design http://warbassedesign.com). It all hinges on the quality of the mobile Web experience, not the tag itself. Let's not build a door without finishing the house!