Quick Response codes are 2-D bar codes developed by Denso Wave Corp and have been around since 1994. It allows content to be easily interpreted by scanners, and decoded at high speed, holding information in vertical and horizontal directions, allowing more data to be held. Originally used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, they are now used in applications aimed at mobile phone users appearing across a variety of printed media. All people have to do is scan an image of a QR code with their mobile phone and this will launch the phone's browser to a programmed URL.
QR Codes have appeared in a recent edition of Esquire, Harrod's in the U.K are running print ads featuring the codes helping to blend online and offline-with mobile as the ideal platform. H&M is attempting to make traditional media more powerful by putting a new spin on the notion of impulse shopping. Indeed, in Japan you can shop straight from street-side billboards and there are plans to follow suit in Europe. Ralph Lauren have introduced QR codes into print ads, mailers and window displays, aimed at sending traffic to its new mobile commerce site. while Gucci, Pepsi and Puma are taking advantage of QR Codes to improve consumer engagement. Furthermore Microsoft have just announced a new iphone application which allows Bar Codes to be more easily read.
All this has massive benefits and in theory could lead tthe purchasing of products from a magazine, newspaper etc the moment you read about it. It has the ability to make all ads instantly interactive-movie billboards could offer instant access to movie trailers and the potential to make newspaper advertising more exciting, interactive and versatile.
In Japan, QR codes are affixed to fruits and vegetables and when scanned with a QR-enabled cell phone and the code tells you the story of where they came from and how they were grown. McDonald's is placing codes on the packaging of many foods so that customers can get nutritional information.
One stumbling block is the fact that U.S. marketers have yet to embrace them and there are barriers to overcome as many mobile phones do not have the technological means to scan the codes. However, the recently released Google/T-Mobile G1 Phone has the ability to scan barcodes
Best Uses of QR technology
Luxury Brands Use of QR Technology
H&M Use of QR Codes