Black and White and Machine Readable All Over – Welcome to the World of QR Codes

Please scan me!

Scan with your smartphone

In case you haven’t noticed, the official name of this blog is Black and White and Read All Over.

Now the monochrome theme has just been dragged into the 21st century thanks to the image you see on this page – which looks like some pixellated piece of modern art.

It’s actually a QR Code, which is the latest take on the old concept of a barcode.

The great thing about these QR codes is that most smart phones – iPhones and the rival handsets with cameras and touch screens – can get cheap, easy to install software which will ‘read’ QR codes.

You may have got here from the QR code which is currently masquerading as my Twitter profile. If so, thanks for the visit.

Anyone (and I’ll grant you, there aren’t too many people currently using the QR  technology) who got here by another means might want to try it out.

So, simply download the app to your iPhone, Android device or Blackberry (I’m using the free QR Code Reader on the iPhone) and then use the camera to line up this black and white box, as if you’re about to take a picture.

Hold it steady for a few second (you don’t have to press any buttons) and your phone should recognise the pattern and take you to another web page.

You don’t have to imagine too hard to see how these codes can be really useful for business. I’ve already followed links in newspapers and magazines which open video adverts, business cards, web links.

I’ve also heard of refuse collection lorries carrying QR codes on the side, which let interested members of the public immediately link to a web page giving more information about rubbish collection in their area.

Likewise, estate agents are wising up to how to use these QR Codes on For Sale signs and other marketing material – which take interested house hunters straight to a schedule or online description of a property.

Businesses can use them to track take up on special offers and discount vouchers. Imagine waiting for a bus and being able to quickly and easily get access to a QR code from an ad that will get you a free coffee at the other end of your journey.

Have you thought about the ways your business could be using QR Codes creatively?

You can contact me or the team at Holyrood Partnership on 0131 561 2244 or info@holyroodpr.co.uk (or use the QR code on this page!).

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