I’m not a huge fan of QR codes: the concept is great, but most of the applications I’ve seen have been lacking:
• I really don’t like having to whip out my phone, take a picture, and then find out who sells that side table I’m looking at in a magazine.
• I took my niece to the zoo and she was frustrated that nearly every animal sign had minimal information: but a prominent QR code. Her phone doesn’t support apps: so was this a learning experience – or a demand for her parents to upgrade her phone?
• on the subway as I’m rolling by a huge ad how does a QR code help me? A name might be helpful!
But there are great ways to use QR codes: in addition to the already mentioned bad ideas.
1. QR code of your home’s WiFi password: We live in NYC, so we get a lot of visitors. Even when we‘re not home, someone wants to use our apartment for a few days. And the 1st questions always asked? What’s your WiFi password?
Ubergizmo has a genius idea: generate a QR code of your WiFi password, print it out and frame it, then your visitors can get your WiFi details them self!
A QR code on your business card – and every student searching for a job or an internship should have a business card, according to Marv Russell, author of Finding Your Internship: What Employers Want You to Know – is more portable than your resume, so if you meet a job contact at the store or at an event, you can hand them your card: and they can easily download your resume, and save your resume and contact info directly to their smart phone!
I’m a huge fan of the ND student who put a QR code with her portfolio on her graduation cap: although I understand from my niece who graduates from ND in May that this is now verboten!
I work with several authors who occasionally want to give away free books, ie buy 1 hard copy, get an e-book for free.A QR code is great for the customer to scan and go directly to the free download site: rather than have to type in a typically long and confusing URL.
The emergency contact info QR code can be stuck to your fridge, taped on your child’s backpack or lunch box, or put on your own messenger bag or laptop: I’d call losing my laptop an emergency!
Teachers love ways to encourage children to research for more information: and kids love using technology. QR codes are a way for teachers to incorporate technology into the classroom. And today, many kids already have smartphones, and many schools are requiring each student have an iPad!
Making a QR code is fast and easy, and most code makers and scanners are free.