QR Codes: Barcodes on Steroids?
By Kym Gordon Moore
Have you ever wondered what those square images on some products, advertisements or on a register receipt that resemble a maze made out of miniature black and white squares are? This icon is a datamatrix code called a QR Code. Since the inception of commerce in the marketplace, retailers managed to keep some type of tracking system to help regulate and categorize their inventory. Weeks of supply and seasonal stock adjustments help buyers and purchasing agents maintain and track accurate stock levels.
A Quick Response Code or QR Code stores a measurable amount of data whose content is designed to be decoded at a high speed. Not to be confused with a barcode that is commonly seen on every manufactured product, coupon, register receipt or periodical, QR Codes are designed differently, but can still store data that is measureable just as the barcode. They can be added to printed promotional ads containing a coupon, social media identification, YouTube video links, contact and product details. Barcodes contain optical machine-readable data about a product, while Quick Response Codes are datamatrix (two-dimensional barcodes) in which its contents are decoded more rapidly. They are popular in the telecommunications industry and can be read by scanners and smartphones.
There are very few places to shop nowadays, where your merchandise is not scanned. Gone are the days where all establishments simply rang up an item on the cash register by entering just the price. With barcodes and QR Codes, data about a product or service can be shared more efficiently and accurately. There is a tremendous amount of information coded in these optical and matrix machine-readable configurations of data.
Studies indicate that QR Codes can encode the same amount of data as a barcode in one tenth of the space. Barcodes can hold approximately twenty digits, where a QR Code can hold over seven thousand characters. With the increase of mobility in the marketplace, Quick Response Codes are the ideal solution for engaging mobile users, which increases their commercial popularity and revenue building capability.
Kym Gordon Moore, author of “Diversities of Gifts: Same Spirit” and “Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry” is an award winning poet, author, speaker, philanthropist, certified email marketing specialist and an authority in strategic marketing. http://www.kymgmoore.com She is co-founder of Favorite Things for a CAUSE http://www.favoritethingsforacause.com and was selected as one of the 2012 U.S. World Book Night Volunteer Book Givers.