How to Scan QR Codes 

When you see a QR code for the first time you may find it very confusing. The truth is, once you gain a better understanding of what these codes are and how to scan them, you will likely be looking to scan any- and every code you find.

Where will you find QR codes?

QR codes can be found pretty much anywhere. I have seen them on websites, magazines, product labels, and even a motorcycle. You may find them on menus, clothing, vehicle decals, billboards, or receipts.

What information is encoded?

The only way to find this out is to scan the code, unless of course the individual that created the code provides instructions which include the website URL or other basic information. The encoded information might include links to a how to video for a do-it-yourself product, a recipe, a virtual tour for home buyers, contact information, consumer discounts, or any other type of promotions.

How do you scan a QR code?

Scanning a QR code is very simple to do as long as you have a smartphone. The smartphone has to be web-enabled and be equipped with a camera. It also should have some type of QR code reader software installed. The one I have installed on my phone is QuickMark. I simply opened Android market, searched for QR code readers, and downloaded the application.

The next step is to find a code to scan. This code is simply one for the QRTagGenerator home page for demonstration purposes.

Open the application menu on your smartphone and you should see a screen similar to this:

Open the QuickMark QR code reader and you will see this:

Next you will touch where it says scan barcode. The screen will look as it does when you’re taking a picture. Center the code in the square and allow it to scan. You will see the website URL. If you touch the web browser button, you will be taken to the link. That’s it. Simple huh?

It looks intimidating at first but it’s really not. Anyone can learn to scan these codes. Once you scan the first code you’ll probably be on a mad hunt to find any code you can because it’s new and exciting.

The newness will eventually wear off and this is where it’s important for businesses to create QR codes that provide value. For instance, it would be more interesting to be directed to an instructional video rather than contact details. A code I found on a magazine recently directed me to view the make over’s of recent contest winners. That was a great “perk” being that it wasn’t something that was provided in the actual catalog.