The quote: “We’re changing the world….. through technology,” by Bill Gates comes to mind each time I learn about a new piece of technology being developed and implemented in our ever-changing world. Shortly thereafter, my favorite quote about technology pops into my head. That quote is from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson; “Given the pace of technology, I propose we leave math to the machines and go play outside.” However, we are inundated with new technology daily and it’s starting to make way into our everyday lives at a fast pace.
The squares are coming; and they are unstoppable. Have you seen them yet? They’re in magazines, on billboards, next to pieces of artwork in museums, printed on clothing and even taking the place of name tags. The squares I am talking about are quick response codes (QR codes).
So what are they and where did they come from?
Quick response codes are groups of tiny (usually black) squares arranged in a larger square pattern and placed on a background. The square pattern is actually data! Yes, data! It’s awesome. The data encoded is readable by QR barcode readers and smart phones. The squares act as a conduit to provide the person using the smart phone or barcode reader with more information right on the spot. This information has unlimited potential.
These codes are new to North America; however they’ve been used in Asia and Northern Europe since 1994. They were first developed by a division of Toyota called “Denso-Wave” in order to track motor vehicle parts. Oh, how far those codes have come.
How does it work when using a smart phone?
As soon as you take a picture of a QR code using your smart phone, you will be asked to “open” the code. Once the code is opened it can act as a business card with the information automatically saving to your contacts, a website which you can view or even an email address for an immediate feedback. (*You will need one of the numerous free applications available at your digital smart phone store in order to read the code.)
What’s a practical example of the QR code?
For example; you are attending a motorcycle event or rally with your friends. You’re having a great time checking out the bikes, looking at new accessories and talking to lots of people when you spot a Foremost Insurance booth. You stop and talk to a representative for Foremost Insurance and after a great conversation about insurance products, coverage and possible discounts, you’d like to learn more about the company. However, you don’t have time for a quote and don’t have a pocket to put a business card in.
What to do, what to do…scan the QR Code that is on our banner! Just snap a picture of the QR Code and you will be directly taken to the Foremost.com website to find a Foremost agency or learn more about the great products we offer.
Maybe you don’t see a banner with a QR code on it, but you might see the pit crew shirts worn by Foremost Insurance sponsored racer Leslie Porterfield’s Pit Crew with QR codes on the back. The concept works the same way. Just a take a picture of the shirt and you’re all set.
The designer of the QR codes has the ability to modify the codes as they see fit, so the possibilities are endless. They are also free to design and use at this time. In the future, you may be attending an event and see significantly less brochures and business cards displayed. They could all be made obsolete by QR codes.
Would you like to design one right now? I’m a hands on/must try it out person myself and if you are too, check this out. There’s a great free resource at QRStuff.com. Try it out, I think you’ll be amazed at the options you have.
Where else have you seen them? Have a unique location you’d like to share? I’d really like to hear about it!
Now, as Calvin said so eloquently, “…I propose we leave math to the machines and go play outside.”
Might as well, it’s a really nice day.