You may have seen these codes on the labels of various commercial products or even on television commercials, but what are they?
QR (Quick Response) codes are a type of barcode that produces condensed versions of information, such as a website link. Think of how URL shortening services (like Bit.ly) shorten long website addresses; QR codes are similar, only they produce images instead of shortened URLs.
So how do they work?
When you see a QR code, take out your mobile device (a Smartphone or iPod Touch, for example) and open the QR reader application* on your device. Then position the QR code in the center of the app’s window and the app will read the code and carry out its action. Most QR codes lead to websites, but some can also open up a blank text message or email, or show a photo.
What do I need to read QR codes?
–A mobile device with the ability to run applications and connect to the Internet
–A QR code reader
* There are many QR code applications available for download. One that the library recommends is Scan It! which is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch (and it’s free). Another is Kaywa Reader (which includes a list of supported devices).
You will begin to see these codes around the library, on signs and flyers. When you see one, just scan it!