Burt Ward on the Batman TV show, 1960’s
Can’t help but see our Matt in this guy….
First cab off the rank – QR Codes. Not going to lie, when someone (younger) told me what the hec that ugly box thing was, I stopped and thought, ‘Can’t these be cooler looking? You mean that’s the best our technology can come up with? I’ve seen better gadgets in the Connery Bond movies!’ But maybe that’s a little too close to a Scientology mindset.
But having a closer look at all the useful tricks this ugly box can achieve, and quite seamlessly too, the smoke and mirrors of it all deserves at least a little attention!
But why hasn’t Australia jumped on top of these babies as profoundly as Europe and Asia? Are we creating some sort of pride in a get-up-and-google-em ability? Because I keep hearing mixed reviews on Australians general laziness. Telstra has certainly attempted to launch them down under, and our Mark saw one in Medicare the other day! (mind you next to ‘No Mobiles Phones’ sign – which made us chuckle). But as a country, we’re not THAT different to the rest of the world. The phase wouldn’t just skip us altogether, would it? Anyway, we’ve complied our own what/how/why breakdown of the QR world for you to enjoy.
SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY?
QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is a trademark for a specific type of matrix barcode. Originally built for industrial uses, they are now under spotlight in advertising strategies, due to their speedy and effortless processes, both in creation and using. In a nut shell: It’s interactive, and only needs the tiniest amount of curiosity, to wham-bam-thank-you –ma’am any potential customer straight to your content!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Simply scan the picture with the app on your phone, which locates the three distinctive squares at the corners of the image and the smaller squares near the fourth corner, and then the small dots are then converted into a url, picture, text, number, figure, etc. Find the right app for your phone below.
Phone App to download
Android Google Goggles, ZXing, and others.
Nokia Check Symbian to see what you can use
Iphone Heaps of apps are available in the app store, but QR Reader has the most ratings!
BlackBerry Same goes for Blackberry, but we’d recommend QR Code Scanner
Windows Phone 7.5 Can scan through the Bing search app.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY OWN?
QR Codes are free to make (Thanks to a Mr Denso Wave who owns the legal patent rights, but chooses not to use them – no one piss him off ok?), and there are lots of websites that generate codes easily, but if you (like us) are a little picky with the visuals there are a few points to remember before trying to customize. QR codes can be generated with 0% - 30% error correction rates built in. The higher the rate, the more noise (boxes) there will be.
If you want to stylize and add your company’s logo, you need to remember at least 30% of the code needs to remain untouched for scanners to work. The more changes you make, the longer scanners will take (an element audiences will give up on after a while) and more scanner apps available will fail to pick up at all. It is possible to mathematically compute which boxes in a QR code are the buffers that can be removed, but most people chose the trial-and-error process. Which doesn’t help the ‘Australian laziness’ debate at all I’m afraid.
Beqrious, qrhacker, qrlicious and customqrcodes have impressive portfolios of custom made codes, and there are some local peeps as well, but tune in for Part II where we’ll collect our favorite codes and where we see Australia using them!
Over and out.