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QR Codes’ Quirky Roles

QR codes (short for Quick Response codes) have far outgrown their roots in the automotive industry. The now-ubiquitous matrices are rapidly replacing standard UPC barcodes due to their snappy readability and generous storage capacity. Beyond the obvious worlds of advertising and marketing, QR codes are being used for many practical purposes and even art.

Seattle-based startup PetHub creates scannable codes you can use as ID tags for your pet. If the pet is lost, a good Samaritan with a mobile phone can scan the tag to find the owner’s contact information, as well as the animal’s allergies, medications, dietary requirements, immunizations, veterinarian info and more.

If you are looking for more creative ways to incorporate a QR code in advertising, artist Yiying Lu has found an amazing approach. She draws the QR codes into her beautiful artwork which is sure to catch the eye of passers-by, Web surfers or magazine skimmers. These amazing illustrations are not only attractive, they also serve a purpose: to get you to scan them and learn more about a company or product.

Other novel utilizations include t-shirts with QR codes for a Rock the Vote voter registration drive, scannable codes on ATMs that link to your bank account for mobile cash withdrawal, and even codes affixed to recycling bins to encourage recycling and register users to win prizes.

There has been much discussion about the long-term prospects of QR codes. Despite much of the nay-saying, they are continuing to pop up everywhere. QR codes and other scannable codes provide an excellent way to track a campaign and can be targeted so you know precisely who is scanning them as well as when and how. From simply linking to a homepage or blog to redirecting to an exclusive landing page customized to a specific audience, QR codes are valuable tools for any business. Quick response is here to stay.

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