Courtney A. Griffin ~ Writer | Designer| Social Media Junkie | Soon to be entrepreneur

The life of a Michigan State University College Girl, turned Chicago Native. Continue the journey with me!

Technology Review: QR Code

While at Keio University, we conducted our first survey. When the power point came up on the screen I was very concerned. There was link to survey and a little bar code like thing. The students then pulled out their phones, and started to take a picture, I was then, beyond confused. Shortly after, I realized that the bar code like thing is called QR code and it acts as the web address. All you have to do is take a picture of it and you will be taken to the website. I was stunned! I then started to see the QR code everywhere, like even on the menu at McDonalds.

What is it?

QR stands for Quick Response, because it can quickly be read by a cell phone. Being able to read the code from your phone is not a pricey special application or anything, it is already installed on most mobile phones.

A QR code is very similar to bar code but is much more advanced (a 2 dimensional) . Bar codes in America can hold up to 20 characters, while the QR code can hold thousands.

Just a little history

QR codes were started in Japan in 1994 and used for tracking parts by vehicle manufacturers. As with any technology, someone realized that this technology could also be used elsewhere and is now part of the mobile phone industry and is being used across the Middle East and Europe.

So how do they work?

It takes literally a second.  Any phone with a camera on it can be used the only  addition is the QR decoder software. Take out your phone, use the camera on your phone to take a picture of the bar code and it does not matter how close or far away you are from the code. Task complete, you can now, connect to a web address, download a MP3, dial a telephone number but just taking a picture. Amazing!

Can we use them in the US?

Oddly enough yes! The only dilemma is that American businesses do not use 2 dimensional bar codes. Android and iPhone users can download an application that will allow them to use their camera to read QR code.

In 2008, San Fransisco tested the QR code system. A number of people were given a phone that was compatible and a few stores and restaurants put a QR code in the window of their establishment and people were able to use City Search to get reviews and more about the place before they went in.

Last year, Google attempted to try again to get QR code more well known in the US. Different companies have began using it and Google has made it available on their smart phones. I am guessing they have not succeeded.

Firefox too has attempted to make it more popular. They offer an add-on that can generate a 2D of a URL or a portion of the material on the site.


I am hoping QR code becomes just as popular in America than it has in Japan. I absolutely love the idea of it, I think it is so convenient. I am actually going to download the application on my phone, just so I can be ready and I also want a t-shirt with a code on it

An example of the 2 dimensional code


Filed under: Technology Review

Courtney A.Griffin

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