No, I promise this is not a form of alien communication or a piece of art missing from the museum! Instead it is a Quick Response Code (QR), and if you too are in the 62% of those who are unfamiliar with this language you have come to the right spot!

QR codes are very similar in nature to the barcodes that we see in most stores; however there are two distinct differences:

  1. QR codes hold information both vertically and horizontally; this allows for more information to be encoded into a small area
  2. While barcodes only have one use and normally can be found in various shapes; QR codes always hold their information encoded in a two-dimensional graphic

QR codes are meant to be read with your mobile phone. While each code contains information unique to the creator’s choosing, they are more often than not coded to help you easily get to a destination with additional information, email link and sometimes, even freebies!

Ultimately it is a quick and easy way to link the physical world with the virtual world.

How do you read QR codes?

There are two essential things you need to read a QR code:

  • A mobile phone with a camera
  • A piece of software called a QR reader.

Let’s give it a go together!

  1. Download a free QR reader to your mobile phone either by visiting your mobile app store or visit this site to help you choose the correct reader for your phone.
  2. Open the QR reader app on your phone.
  3. Point your phone camera at the bar code below and take a photo…

     4. If your phone is scanning the code correctly, you will then see a link.

     5. Click this link and congrats!!!! You just read your first QR Code.

Having some issues? Try adjusting the quality of your camera, how close you are from the computer and your screen quality. All of these will affect how easily your camera deals with QR codes.

So there you have it. I hope that you learned how to use QR codes and the next time you see one you will reach for your phone because you never know what you will discover.