QR Codes (= Quick Response Codes)are 2D Barcodes (two dimensional Barcodes) developed by Denso and released in 1994 with the primary aim of being easily interpreted by scanner equipment in manufacturing, logistics and sales applications.
In comparison with other Barcodes, QR Codes combine several advantages:
- they can hold a very large capacity of numbers or letters in any language
- their printout size can be very small
- they offer high speed reading
- they can be read from any side (omnidirectional or 360° scan)
Japan, the first country with a highly developed 3G network and high usage of the mobile internet, was also the country where telecoms like NTTDoCoMo and KDDI achieved a breakthrough by bringing QR code readers to mobile phones. By installing QR code readers on consumer phones, if was suddenly possible for everyone to create and read QR codes and to connect easily to mobile sites.
Today QR Codes are so pervasive in Japan that it's almost impossible without seeing one. You can find them in advertisements, mobile campaigns, on maps, in magazines, on billboards etc. and nobody want to miss them anymore. In that sense the QR Code revolution is comparable to SMS. It's an easy and simple tool, the cost of the connection to a mobile site is below the price of an SMS and it's up to you to decide whether or not you want to scan it.
For further information:
QR Code site of Denso Wave
Examples of QR Codes in Japan:
Stamps with QR Codes
Tokyo Metropolitan Government and QR Codes
MYSQ: Video Booth with QR Code
Taiwan uses QR Codes as a standard
QR Codes on Business Cards
Giant QR Code in the streets of Tokyo
Feed your pet with a QR code
QR Code Tatoo