Nowadays you see them everywhere...on billboards, direct mailings, television commercials, magazine advertisements. What are they? How do I use them?

QR code was created in Japan in 1994 by a Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994 and is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is actually the abbreviation for Quick Response, which is what the creators intended when one scans the code by a reader - you get the information fast. 

For those members with a web enabled mobile device and a code reader application, you will be able to take advantage of QR Codes (left) to access special information promotions. QR Codes are square barcodes which, when photographed by a mobile phone camera, lead the phone’s browser to a particular web page, initiate a call, send an SMS text or even an email. 

Japan has been using this technology with great success for years and you can find QR Codes just about everywhere in the country from stores to rest stations on mountain trails to quiet Japanese gardens. In December 2009 Google announced through its Favorite Places, a new project to bring it searches into the real world using QR Codes. The convenience of not having to type a web address is extraordinary, especially in certain mobile situations. 

What does this means to you...?

At gregoryhowell.com you will find these special codes at the bottom of webpages and in our printed guides which will enable you to get the very latest updates. If you find valuable information on my website, just scan the QR Code and then you will have immediate mobile access to the information from your web enabled device when on the road. This is great before a trip when you want to have travel information ready while on the go. While traveling you may even find QR Codes at your hotel or in a restaurant, enabling you to take advantage of promotions or special information to enhance your travel experience.

Check out the CNET Video below for more information on QR Codes and how they can help you.

Note: The QR Code above is for www.gregoryhowell.com.

In order to read QR codes you will need to download a reader program. I have noted three readers using different platforms. All of the programs are FREE.

QR Code Readers
If you want to create your own QR codes, you will need a code generator. You can create codes for contact information, calendar event, email address, geographical location, phone numbers, SMS, text, URL and wi-fi network. 

QR Code Generators

Microsoft created TAG in response to QR Coding. There are several differences between the two platforms, but in the marketplace, especially in Japan and other parts of the world, QR codes are most prevalent. When Google decided to use QR Codes in its popular Favorite Places program, it reinforced the importance and place of QR Codes in the marketplace. For this reason I have also decided to make QR Codes my preference for bringing the digital world into the real world.

In March 2010, Conde Nast Traveler magazine launched for the very first time Microsoft’s new barcode program TAG. While reading the magazine article you just scan the MSN Tag printed on the page with your web enabled phone and you are immediately directed to more information about the subject matter.

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