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QR Codes: Even the DSA are using them

2 November 2011

Even if you don’t know what a QR code is, I can almost guarantee that you have seen one. However, would you know what to do with it? If you don’t then relax, you’re in good company! Most people have a vague conception that you need to scan it with a smartphone, but don’t know how to do it.

You’ll see more and more QR codes popping up over time, so now is a good time to get familiar with them. Last month, the DSA announced that they had included them in the new edition of their theory test study books.

Believe it or not, your smartphone can scan bar codes just like a checkout till scans your food at the supermarket. QR codes are like bar codes but can hold a lot more data, so they can do more sophisticated things such as load a website, display contact details, or download a voucher.

How to scan a QR code for the first time

To get started, you need to download a QR Code Reader onto your smartphone. There are dozens of these available free of charge for every smartphone from their respective app stores. Simply search for “QR Code” and you’ll see a long list of apps to choose from. I downloaded a free reader called RedLaser but there lots of others to choose from.

After you have downloaded and run the app, you only have to point your phone’s camera at QR code, like somebody scanning your shopping at the supermarket. When the code has been scanned you’ll hear a reassuring bleep and, in an instant, be taken to it’s website.

After you’ve done this once, the benefit is that it will save you time and hassle. Instead of trying to remember and type a twenty-character web address using a fiddly mobile keyboard, you can simply scan a QR code and load the website in an instant. Plus, it’s highly likely that the content behind a QR Code has been optimised for display on a mobile phone – which means it will be easy to read and hopefully be a more pleasant experience than a regular website.

Give it a go and scan the QR below and see what happens.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 3 November 2011 8:53 am

    Any ideas how I would create one of these to promote my website or theory test pro on leaflets?

  2. 4 November 2011 8:34 pm

    what happens if you dont have or own a smart phone ?

  3. 4 November 2011 9:32 pm

    You get left behind 😉

  4. 22 January 2012 4:19 pm

    I think QR codes are really going to be the next big thing, we have been using then on our business cards for our driving school, great idea.

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