QR Codes (short for Quick Response Codes), put simply, are enhanced versions of the common UPC barcodes you see on items at your local grocery or retail store. QR Codes are used for encoding data in a two-dimensional space, so that users and potential customers can immediately obtain more information on products or other items via the use of a smart phone or scanning device. QR Codes can be printed on labels to be applied to any type of object – or they can be printed directly on advertisements (magazine, newspaper, etc.) – or they can even be cut (or “etched”) directly onto surfaces like plastic, metal, or even stone.
QR Codes were originally invented by a subsidiary of the Japanese Toyota Corporation in 1994 to assist with the tracking of their vehicles during the assembly process. Today, QR Codes are commonly used on thousands of items and products.
Where Do You Find Apps for Reading QR Codes?
You can obtain generic QR Code reading apps at your smart phone provider’s website. (iPhone App Store, Android App Store, etc.) Or, you can try a Barcode Scanner / QR Code reader combo that we really like called Bakodo. You can also find specific QR Code apps by doing a Google search or by looking, again, at your smart phone provider’s app store.
How Are QR Code Labels Different Than Barcode Labels?
Barcode labels and QR Code labels are very similar in that they both contain encoded data on the printed label surface. However, barcode labels encode data only in the horizontal plane of the label (as barcode scanners read the width and distance between the lines to interpret the data). QR Code labels incorporate both the horizontal and vertical space to encode data through the use of tiny squares. QR Codes thus allow more information to be stored in the same size area.
Barcodes are perfect for encoding minimal information, such as basic product information and pricing. Barcode scanners are used to read the label and match-up the Barcode with another database stored in a computer. Alternatively, QR Code labels can hold much more data and are ideal for other uses and situations. Through the use of a smart phone or other device, QR Code labels can be used to trigger actions like launching a website or even downloading a file.
QR Code labels are also different than Barcode labels in that they can be read from any angle, while Barcodes must be properly aligned to function correctly.What Are QR Code Labels Used For?
The primary use for QR Code labels, from a business perspective, is to send potential customers to a website for further information. If you already have a QR Code reader on your smart phone, try scanning the QR Code at right and you will be directed to MaverickLabel.Com. As you can imagine, this opens the doors to many possibilities for businesses of all sizes.
QR Code labels literally have thousands of real-world applications. Restaurants, for example, use QR Code labels (printed on window decals) to place links to their full menu on the front windows of their establishments. This allows potential customers to quickly and easily access their food and beverage selections, and pricing, all at the push of a button. Real estate agents use QR Code labels on outdoor real estate signage via large-sized (4″ x 4″ and larger) durable weatherproof labels. The QR Code labels are placed directly on the signage so home shoppers can easily access detailed information about the home from the comfort of their vehicles.
Other examples of QR Code label use include adding further information to product brochures or advertising post cards. QR Code labels can be applied to existing marketing material to immediately add new or updated information to these items. Creative companies have even ordered business card stickers composed entirely of the QR Code itself, thus effectively using the QR Code as a digital business card.
How Can You Benefit from QR Code Labels?
As mentioned above, QR Codes are suited perfectly for linking to content on smart phones or websites. So, a natural benefit is to use QR Codes to provide your audience / potential customers with more information on your product or services.
Just like barcodes, QR Codes must be properly formatted with your desired information for printing. There are numerous online tools you can use to enter your information and generate your barcodes. A few of these sites that we recommend are http://www.qrstuff.com/, http://goqr.me/, http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/ – but there are plenty of other free QR Code generator sites out there. Just try a quick Google search and find the one you like best.
What Do You Need to Tell Your QR Code Label Printer?
This really depends on how you intend to use the QR Code labels themselves. But, for the most part, as long as you have your QR Codes generated with the proper information you want included, you should be good to go. As with all printing, however, there are several options to consider when having your QR Codes printed. One such option is that you can have personalized and/or variable (consecutive numbering, etc.) QR Code information printed in a single order. So, you could order a large quantity of QR Code labels – each one with their own unique website URL or pricing, for example. MaverickLabel.Com is more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have about QR Codes. Just contact our Customer Service during the ordering process and we’ll help you generate your custom QR Codes quickly and easily.
Mark Trumper – CEO