QR Codes are becoming more and more visible these days, appearing everywhere from magazines, to bus stop ads. They even had a dancer hold up a giant QR Code in Stephen Colbert’s hilarious rendition of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. They’re a useful tool that can help connect the physical world to the virtual one.
A QR Code is basically a way of encoding text, and works in exactly the same way as the bar codes at the supermarket. Instead of being vertical lines, and read with a laser, the data is displayed on a grid, and read using the cameras in your smartphone. The name “QR Code” is short for “Quick Response Code”, due to the fact that they were designed to be instantly readable, even on low-power, embedded devices like “feature” phones.
If you want to make your own QR Codes, or use them in a project, there are a number of resources that make it easy to do.
First, take a look at this QR Code generator, at delivr: http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator
Using this, you can create a QR Code to be used in your project. Just choose the kind of code, enter your data, and click “Generate QR Code”!
If you need some more details on how they work, and how to make your own, take a look at the Wikipedia page on QR Codes, which provide information on how the encoding works, and how you can generate codes manually in your project.
Finally, a neat trick I noticed: Google automatically displays QR Codes as download links on Google Code, for example: here.
This means that Google QR Codes are being automatically generated for each download link. Knowing this, we can use Google’s Charts API (which is used to generate the codes) to provide quick and easily generated codes wherever they’re needed.
The format of the URL is as follows: https://www.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chld=L|1&chs=<width>x<height>&chl=<content>
Simply replace <width> & <height> with the size of the image you want (From about 25×25 pixels and up), and the <content> with a URL-encoded string of your choice. Google will return a QR Code with the details you specified, ready for embedding.
From personal experience, QR Codes can be a great way to attract customers if used properly, and I expect they will explode in popularity within the coming years.