Some of you may have noticed the bitmap in our sidebar. It’s a Quick Response (QR) Code. Normal bar codes are 1 dimensional: they store information horizontally. A QR Code stores information in 2 dimensions; horizontally and vertically.
A good way to think of a QR Code is as a real-world right-click. It’s a hard-link instead of a hyperlink. QR Codes that store addresses, contact information or URLs appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or any other object that users might need information about. Our sidebar QR Code contains the url of the mobile version of the Voltage Blog. That way someone can just scan the QR Code with their phone instead of having to manually enter the url into their mobile browser.
The QR code is an open-source standard in Europe and Asia (In the sense that the specification of QR Code is disclosed and that the patent right owned by Denso Wave is not exercised.) In fact, Japanese Cell phone makers include QR readers in their phones by default. If you’re phone doesn’t have one, you can download one for free at any of these websites:
- Bee Tag (This is my favorite) – http://www.beetagg.com/downloadreader/
- Kaywa reader, Kaywa / 3GVision – http://reader.kaywa.com
- I-nigma, I-nigma – http://www.i-nigma.com
- QuickMark – http://www.quickmark.com.tw/En/basic/index.asp
- NeoReader – Accessible via iPhone App Store
Most of the sites above also have QR code generators where you can create your own QR code for anything you want to tag. Like your blog…
[photo by CoCreatr]