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January 17, 2011

posted by: Carissa Drohan-Jennings

QR Codes For Landlords - The Basics

QR Codes


What Are They?

"QR" stands for quick response and a QR code is simply a two-dimensional bar code that quickly and easily allows a smartphone user to scan the code to access alphanumeric text or a URL. These codes appear as a square box that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie but they're more common than you think.

Here's a great article that outlines the evolution of the barcode from the standard 1 dimentional one we see on product packaging and this new 2D version.


How Are They Created?

Data can be translated into a QR code using a QR generator, many of which are available for free online by simply searching for "qr code generator".  Users simply choose which type of code they'd like to generate - enter the type of data to be translated, enter in the text and the foreground colour and then the generator produces the code, which can then be displayed electronically or in printed format. 


How Do They Work?

Decoding the infor­mation can be done with any mobile camera phone that has a QR reader, which is freely available online for most devices. Once the software is loaded, a user points the cell phone camera toward the code and scans it by taking a picture of it. The software interprets the code, and the cell phone will either display the text or ask for permission to launch a browser to display the specified web page. 

Watch this YouTube video to see an iPhone scanning a QR code.

This video shows the popularity of QR code advertising in Japan.  Canada will soon be next.


Are People Using QR codes in Canada?

If smartphone development gives any indication then the answer is yes!  There has been such an explosion of QR code readers available for download that smartphone developers are now pre-installing the readers on their newest phones. The developers know that this technology enhances the users experience and are therefore making very easy for their customers to adopt it.

In industries outside of our own we see QR codes appearing quite frequently in advertising and mainstream media.  Many of the top brands in Canada including HBO, XM Satelite Radio, Air Canada, Facebook, Google, Blackberry, GMC, and many more have implemented campaigns using QR Codes.  This further suggests that the market is becoming comfortable with seeing these codes and using them.