On QR Codes   1 comment

qrcodeI wanted to get everyone’s opinion of QR Codes. I’ve been tumbling this in my head for the last week or two, and wanted to try to get some more feedback.

A QR Code is a “two dimensional” barcode. While they have other uses, the most popular is to easily redirect someone to a web site via a sign or flyer in the “real world.” The idea is you take a photo of it with a SmartPhone application. The app will then convert the barcode into a text stream, typically a URL. In a way, it is an idea very similar to the CueCat in the mid-to-late Nineties, except that the blend of technology and mobility have caught up to provide some utility.

I started pondering the QR Codes recently when I saw an opportunity to print up some business cards for free. The idea of having some personal business cards seems handy. I could use them for contacts that are not work related, but that I would want to be able to get in touch with me. Obviously, it would have some basic contact information (name, some description of who I am, etc.). In addition to some basic contact information (a phone number and an e-mail address), I had the notion of putting up a web page with “expanded contact information,” to include this blog, my twitter account, LinkedIn, etc. I had the idea of putting a QR Code link to this page on the reverse side of the card, to allow easy access.

I started having second thoughts when I simply thought about the QR Code. Quite frankly, they are somewhat ugly from a design perspective. Putting it on the back of the card would help. But how difficult is it to type in a short URL?

Then I had second thoughts about QR Codes in general. I started reading about QR Codes being a source of malware. Since you can’t see what the QR Code is until you scan it, I can see where the risk increases. While the same is true of URL shorteners, there are typically options to see what you are referred to. Also, there is a big difference between a random code on a flyer and something that can clearly be traced back to major business or an individual, such as my card.

What are your thoughts? Is the utility of a QR Code worth putting it on a card, or are they unnecessarily ugly and less-than-trustworthy?

The QR Code above simply links back to my blog–nothing to worry about!

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Posted 2012-01-20 by Mr. Guilt in computers, Internet, IT Opinion, rant

One response to “On QR Codes

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  1. QRcodes are ok but I rarely scan them even though I have a reader on my phone. I just put all my blog and twitter contact info, Flickr etc on the face of my card

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