What is a QR code?

This is a QR code!

This is a QR code!

A barcode is a series of lines, of varying thickness, used to represent a piece of numerical data, such as a product identifier. Quick Response Codes are an evolution of barcode technology and can be used to store numbers, text, web addresses and more.

QR codes were first introduced around 1994 to keep track of components during a car manufacturing process. You can recognise a QR code by the distinct pattern of ‘bordered squares’ in every corner except the bottom right. QR codes can be any size and any colour.

No special equipment is needed to a read a QR code – just a camera and some software to decode the message. Modern smartphones often feature high quality cameras and apps to enable them to decode QR codes are readily available. QR codes are very easy to read – they even work upside down!

Thanks to this QR codes have quickly become a popular way to share information. Individuals can use them to share contact details, send messages, and check product prices against the Internet (a great way to save money on textbooks). They are also becoming widely used in advertising for giving out web addresses.

Android phones, iPhones and most Blackberrys can read QR codes with a suitable app. Check your phones documentation to find out more.

QR codes for this blog will start appearing around SHU during the coming weeks…

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