Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes.
Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes now are used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (termed mobile tagging). QR codes may be used to display text to the user, to add a contact information to the user's device, to open a website, video, or to compose an e-mail or text message. Small Business Owners can generate and print their own QR codes for customers to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR code generating sites. For example, Home Depot now includes a QR code on their plant tags so users may learn more about the plants while shopping.
QR codes may appear in magazines, on signs, business cards, postcards, real estate signs, websites or almost any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the telephone's browser.
Recently, QR codes have become more prevalent in marketing circles and have been integrated into both traditional and interactive campaigns. QR codes are not necessarily new to the world but they are growing ever more prevalent in the United States. As a small business owner, free innovative technology can make a difference between staying in business and growing your business.