How QR Codes work

QR codes, or quick response codes, is a type of 2D bar code that may be decoded using your smartphone with a QR code reader.  From being a tracking mechanism for auto parts, QR codes have proven to be very useful in marketing and convenience related applications that are more suitable for smartphone users.  In the recent months, we have seen QR codes show up on marketing materials such as movie posters, promotional posters for various products, billboards, flyers, among other things.  These have also been seen on newspaper ads, business cards, artwork, and other everyday things.


There are two main things that you have to have when you deal with QR codes:

1. A mobile phone with a camera and Internet connectivity

2. A QR code reader

Where do I get a QR code reader for my phone?

Most smartphones coming out nowadays have a QR code reader already installed. For some, you would need to download the reader and install it yourself. Simply search your app store for “barcode reader,” or “QR code scanner,” and you’ll find several to choose from and all are free. Click install and you are ready to go.

How do you scan the QR code?

After you have you have your reader installed, fire up the application and snap a picture of the QR code.  Make sure that your hand is steady and that you are able to include the whole code into the picture.  There will be some instances when the scan would fail, do not worry, just keep on snapping.


Depending on your software, it may take some five to thirty seconds for the application to resolve the link for you.  That is to say, to decode the information written behind the code.  If it is a URL, the QR code reader will open your browser and let you surf the mobile site the code links to.



If it is a VCF card, a file that contains a person's contact information, it will offer to save the information into your address book.