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What Is A QR Code And How Do I Scan It?

Sep 10, 2014   Web and Internet   Nick Vogt   Comments
Please note that this post is over a year old and may contain outdated information.
A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that contains square shapes of varying sizes and orientations. It can contain significantly more data than traditional one-dimensional barcodes (with the parallel lines) like you'd find on items at a store. QR stands for "quick response" and you will often see it abbreviated as QRC as well.

This is what a QR code looks like:

QR Code

Most mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc) can scan QR codes and process the data they contain. One of the most common types of data to put into a QR code is a web address (also called a URL or link). This allows a user to scan a QR code with their mobile device and have it immediately open up the website in their web browser.

A QR code can contain long web addresses as well, allowing for functionality beyond simply acting as a bookmark to a home page. For example, companies can use QR codes to control and serialize product using long alphanumeric serial numbers with their web address. This allows for interactive products and merchandise where rebates, downloads, and other digital goods can be offered through the QR code.


How To Scan


Your phone probably has a QR or barcode scanner app installed from the factory. If it does, open it and aim it at the QR code. If it doesn't have an app, go to your phone's app store and download one. Most are free and you do not need to spend money on one for full functionality. Here are good ones for each of the major mobile platforms:

iPhone Scanner App
Android Scanner App
Windows Phone Scanner App
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