You've probably seen these black and white boxes around town that look like TV static. They seem to be popping up everywhere - on cereal boxes, yard signs, the supermarket, and in hardware stores. You may have even noticed the hip crowd (you know who you are) scanning these boxes with their mobile phones. Why? It's a type of barcode, called a QR code (Quick Response) and it's designed to be read by web-enabled smartphones so that more information on the product or service can be quickly found.
If you have a smartphone that uses applications (app's), you can download any of several different QR code reader apps such as Red Laser or I-nigma. When you open the app, it will activate the camera on your phone and scan the QR code that appears on your screen. Now - and here's the neat part - you can create QR codes that will trigger any number of responses. For instance, the QR code at the top of this article will take you to a website called QRStuff.com. This code generator allows you to decide what should happen when the code you create is scanned. You could have it launch a YouTube video, send a text message, show a Google map, open a website, or send a virtual business card - and it's free to generate. Imagine the possibilities!
Now, you might be wondering - why are some of these QR codes so big? Not all smartphones or apps are created equal, and there is a lot of data to be stored in a relatively small space. To ensure that most people can successfully scan your image, I recommend not having a QR code smaller than 1" X 1". So, now that you know what a QR code is and how it works - how will you use this tool to promote your business or event?