Five clever ways to use QR codes
A growing number of smartphone users are discovering that a QR code scanner app on their device provides a versatile link between the physical and digital worlds. QR codes (short for “quick response”) consist of a grid of black squares on a white background that your cell phone camera can scan to capture the information stored in the code. The code may store a simple string of data, such as a name and phone number, or it may contain more complex data that will trigger a set of actions when you scan it.
You’ve probably seen scores of advertisements with QR codes that link to a product’s web site, but these codes can be used to engage with people or share data many other ways. Here are five ideas designed to make QR codes a regular go-to app in your digital toolkit, and some tips on getting the most out of your QR code experience.
Activate your business card
A QR code can greatly enhance the impact of your business card. Create a vCard of all of your contact data, and your clients can scan your QR code to instantly add you to their contacts list. You can also embed an entire email or text message in the QR code with your contact info and the prepared message requesting a price quote or other follow-up information, for example. By scanning the code, your associate will get the entire prepared and addressed email or text message to send to you from his or her device without typing in a single character.
Single-tap social media
You can generate QR codes to link to just about every major social media platform. Generate a code to invite follows or shares of your social media content or create an entire status update for your friends to share.
Share times and places
QR codes can link to time-sensitive or location-specific information on fliers or other print material. Generate a calendar event with detailed information and your contacts will be able to scan the data directly into their calendars. Similarly, a map location code will link them directly to your location in your clients’ preferred map application.
Manage your WiFi settings
QR codes can also help you manage and share your in-office or in-home WiFi settings. A QR code can be safely used in any setting where you already post your WiFi password as plain text for co-workers or visitors. Simply scan a print out of the QR code and your router name; encryption settings and passwords are stored on your device. Using a QR code WiFi log-in lets you create more secure passwords and change them more frequently while still maintaining ease of use.
Zap from desktop to device
You can use QR codes to transfer URLs from your desktop computer to your phone. Using a free add-on or extension to your desktop browser, you can instantly generate a QR code for any web page that you would like to read on the go. Scan the code with your device, and the same page loads in your mobile browser.