History of the QR Code 

You’ve probably seen a QR code without even realizing it. They can be found almost anywhere and are square, black and white, two-dimensional barcodes. Here’s a basic example:

The code above can be scanned by anyone holding a web-enabled smartphone equipped with a camera. The phone must also have a QR code reader installed which can usually be obtained through the phone’s market place. These codes can contain all sorts of information from simple contact details to discounts or videos.

Where did these codes come from?

In 1994, Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota, created the code to help keep track of the vehicles while they were being manufactured. Once companies realized there were many commercial uses for these codes, they were being more widely used in Japan. Over the last few years North America has seen a growth in using QR codes in a vast amount of ways.

 

A few businesses that might use QR codes include:

Restaurants

Real estate

Retail

Communications

Magazines

Freelancers

The codes can be used for advertising, increasing sales, page views, or making one time customers become repeat customers. QR codes may be found on billboards, on signs on the front of a store, on the back of products, on menus, on receipts, and I recently seen one on a custom built motorcycle. The information that is encoded completely depends on the business. It is only limited to the level of creativity that is put into it.

Although most codes are safe to scan, there is potential to be driven to malicious content. This can happen when your are simply surf the web using your laptop or personal computer as well but you should only scan codes from a trusted source or one in which you can view the entire URL.