QR Codes: The Next Great Tech (You Haven’t Heard Of Yet)

by on March 1, 2011 · 21 comments

QR codes are going to be the next great tech you need to know about. Remember when bar codes first became big (that is, if you’re over a Certain Age)? QR codes may just become even bigger than regular bar codes!

What is a QR code?

“QR” is short for Quick Response. QR codes were developed in Japan in 1994 to help businesses transmit information quickly and efficiently. A QR code is type of bar code, a square with oddly patterned squares within it, kind of like a crossword puzzle gone horribly wrong. Here is an example of a QR code (this is the QR code for this website, The Wonder of Tech):


If you scan a QR code with a scanner, it may reveal all sorts of information such as website addresses, contact information, nutritional information at restaurants, museum exhibit information, songs, book chapters, pictures, etc.

Museums are using QR codes in their exhibits to display additional information about a display to interested visitors. Cities such as Minneapolis and London have offered tours using QR codes.

Some books now have QR codes revealing additional information from the author, video, audio tracks and places for readers to leave comments.

If you’re a realtor, you could put a QR code on your listing signs in front of your properties so potential buyers could scan the codes to get more information.

If you’re running a convention, you could provide attendees badges with QR codes containing their contact information for other attendees to scan.

You could put a QR code on the back of your business card to give quick access to your website.

Here is a photo of a hotel in Dubai that decided to go all out with its use of QR codes:

Hotel Code Unique*


Please post a comment if you visit this hotel. I would love to know what a scan of its QR code reveals!

The possibilities are endless which is why the use of QR codes is soaring.

Do I have to buy a scanner?

No, one of the great things about QR codes is that you might already have a scanner in your pocket, your smartphone with a camera. By using a free app, you can use your smartphone to scan a QR code and have the information appear on your smartphone screen.

Which apps work as QR code scanners?

Google, which is free for Android phones and iPhones, works as a QR code scanner. I have tried some other free QR code scanners from the App Store, AT&T Code Scanner and QR Code Reader, but they didn’t work. I also bought the app quiQR for $1.99. What I like about this app is that it scans quickly and it also generates QR codes, such as the QR code above.

How can I test this out?

First, if you have a smartphone, open your Google app. Click on the camera icon in Google and point your phone camera lens at the QR code above. Click on the camera icon on this screen and scan the QR code. Your result should be wonderoftech.com. If you want to try another QR code, scan the QR code on the sidebar to this blog. That will give you a slightly different result.

Having fun? Search QR codes and see how many cool uses of QR codes you can find.

Here’s a group of people having the ultimate fun with QR codes:

Perhaps a QR scanner will soon become your Killer App?



Big Tech News Tomorrow!

I know from the questions I’ve received that many of you are eagerly anticipating the iPad 2. Tomorrow is the big announcement where Apple will reveal the latest features, pricing and launch date of the iPad 2. There has been much speculation about the new features of the iPad 2, including whether the device will have a rear-facing camera. Many people have questioned why anyone would want a rear-facing camera on an iPad because of its size. If Apple puts a rear-facing camera on the iPad 2, it will be more for using apps such as QR scanners than for taking pictures. If Apple doesn’t put a rear-facing camera on the iPad 2, then it will have a hard time competing with Android tablets, such as the Xoom, which do have a rear-facing camera.

We will find out all about the iPad 2 tomorrow!


*Photo by codezqr.mobi

Comments on this entry are closed.

Kathy March 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

I don’t have a smart phone, but I have an I-Pod Touch. Can I get an app to use my I-Pod Touch as a QR code scanner? If yes, do I have to be in a Wi-Fi zone to use it?

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hi Kathy, First, does your iPod Touch have a camera? Older models of the iPod Touch do not have a camera but if you have the newest model, then you do have a camera so you can use your iPod Touch as a scanner.

You do need an internet connection to read QR Codes so you would have to be connected to Wi-Fi in order for your iPod Touch to be a QR code scanner.

I believe your iPod Touch came with the Google app already loaded. The Google app can work as your QR code scanning app, just click on the camera icon to scan the QR Code.

joey March 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Not understanding what it was, I noticed the QR code on our local hospital’s patient bracelets. Wow.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi Joey, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! That’s a great use of QR codes, to put patient information on hospital bracelets. I’m glad this blog was helpful to you.

Terry March 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Thanks, this is really great. I always wondered what those funny looking squares were. Now I not only know what they are, I found out I have a scanner in my iPhone.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Hi Terry, Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Not many people are familiar with QR codes yet. But that’s about to change…

KathyF April 3, 2011 at 2:11 am

Saw my first QR code at Pizza Express yesterday! If you scan it you can learn more about the pizzas and get recipes.
KathyF recently published this awesome post..Sparky Settles InMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 3, 2011 at 7:42 am

Hi KathyF, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! That’s a very useful way to implement QR codes at a restaurant. I hope more restaurants start using QR codes for recipes and nutritional information. A QR code with the special of the day would be handy too. Sometimes waiters will rattle off the specials quickly or don’t give prices, so a QR code with that information would be useful.

KathyF April 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Someone on FB was talking about QR codes and I pointed them to this post. I also saw a link to this in comments:


Let me know if you use it and if it works.
KathyF recently published this awesome post..Sparky Settles InMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Hi KathyF, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! Thank you very much for letting others know about this blog, greatly appreciated.

I clicked on your link and it lead to a QR code generator which is very handy for creating QR codes. I have a plugin for this blog that creates a QR code for each post (see the sidebar for the QR code). It’s amazing once you know about QR codes, you see them a lot of places.

Ilka Flood April 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Hi Carolyn,

You were right! I really did enjoy your post about QR codes…and I absolutely loved the video you shared at the end. How fun!

Ilka Flood recently published this awesome post..What Is a QR Code and Why the Heck Should I careMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Hi Ilka, Welcome back to The Wonder of Tech! I’m so glad you enjoyed my blog post about QR codes and the fun video. I enjoyed reading your blog post about QR codes and your comment about QR codes being like your new model car. Once you pay attention, you see them everywhere!

Lukas May 12, 2011 at 7:26 am

I love QR Codes, I found them very useful and even implemented them on my website too.
Great article! Thanks for sharing :-)
Lukas recently published this awesome post..QR Codes – simple but powerful addition to blog postsMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr May 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hi Lukas, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I’m glad you enjoyed this post, that means a lot coming from a fellow QR code fan!

Lukas May 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm

QR Codes are so cool, I am thinking of creating some kind of application that could use it. I am doing brain storm today ;-) By the way, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :-)
Lukas recently published this awesome post..QR Codes – simple but powerful addition to blog postsMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr May 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Hi Lukas, A QR code application sounds very interesting. Please keep us posted if you develop one, we would love to hear about it. I really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for your comments here. :-)

Web Design London May 13, 2011 at 3:10 am

I will for sure, but first I need to come up with something innovative :-)
Web Design London recently published this awesome post..QR Codes – simple but powerful addition to blog postsMy Profile

Linda March 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Hi there Carolyn,

Stopping by from Adrienne’s blog :-)

I don’t have a smartphone, but I have a type of ipad – but it’s really not so hot and I can’t for the life of me get the stupid backwards camera to scan a code unless I try a zillion different ways, and it is not worth the hassle.

I was just wondering what kind of things I could use on my blog for a QR code? I just don’t know how it would benefit me.

And Isn’t there a place online that you can test the code that you make? Or am I dreaming? LOL

Linda recently published this awesome post..Prevent Multiple Login Attempts to Secure Your WordPress Blog – Video #4 Barry’s Video ChallengeMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Hi Linda, Great question! I have good news for you. You can scan a QR code without a smartphone. Here is an article explaining how to use your webcam to scan QR codes Scanning QR Codes: No SmartPhone? No Problem!.

But I do wonder why your iPad isn’t scanning QR codes. Which app are you using to scan them? Perhaps it’s the fault of the app. I have also had issues with certain QR codes in stores that didn’t work but that was a problem with the codes, not the app, because other codes in the same store worked fine.

Thanks for coming over from Adrienne’s site, Linda. It’s wonderful having you visit here at The Wonder of Tech! :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr December 25, 2011 at 11:15 am

Hi Rare Silver Coins, I’m glad you’re enjoying this site. Hope you stop by again soon!

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