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Got QR? Better Yet, GOT Q_PR?

February 17, 2011

Alice's QPR Code

What's Does It Say?

How’d you use QR codes in PR? Marketing? Emergency Preparedness? 
Now, I have got to say that this IS cutting edge stuff with regards to exploring how to apply them to various new opportunities.  Disconnect your Desktop, the TV and submit you cool ideas here in the comment section.  In short, QR Codes are a cell phone readable bar code that can store phone numbers, URL’s, email addresses and pretty much any other alphanumeric data. Storing up to 4296 characters they are internationally standardised under ISO 18004. Think “print-based hypertext links” and you’ll start to get the idea.
A QR Code (it stands for “Quick Response”) is a mobile phone readable barcode that’s been big in Japan forever, broke into Eurpoe a while back, and is now getting traction in USA. In it’s simplest sense think “print based hypertext link” – simply encode a URL into the QR Code and then point a mobile phone (or other camera-enabled mobile) at it. If the device has hadQR Code decoding software installed on it, it will fire up its browser and go straight to that URL.

But it doesn’t stop there – a QR Code can also contain a phone number, an SMS message, V-Card data or just plain alphanumeric text, and the scanning device will respond by opening up the correct application to handle the encoded data appropriately courtesy of the FNC1 Application Identifiers that are embedded in the encoded data.

The technical specifications for a QR Code are set down in the ISO-18004 standard so they are the same all over the world, and the only signifcant variations from one QR code to another (apart from the data it contains) is the number of modules required to store the data. A Version 1 QR Code is a 21×21 array of data elements with the array increasing in size by 4 modules for each increase in version number. The largest standard QR Code is a Version 40 symbol that 177×177 modules in size and can hold up 4296 characters of alphanumeric data (theoretically) compared to 25 characters for a Version 1 QR Code.

While there is still a lot of room for improvement, the resolution of average present-day cell phone camera other camera enabled portable devices is such that the size of the data modules (dots) on a QR Code of Version 5 or above (37×37) presents a real risk of incorrect decoding of the symbol by the device. When creating a QR Code intended for use with mobile phones it’s best to stick to Version 4 or lower, and a QR Code symbol of at least 2cm (0.85inches) across.

More Information. For more information about QR Codes, try these sites:

 And a few videos to explain QR Codes…

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  1. February 25, 2011 at 2:15 am
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