Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fun with QR Codes

QR Codes are an ingenious way of distributing hard-to-remember data. You usually see QR codes on display ads directing you to a certain website, or to download a smartphone application. All you need to access these is a Barcode Scanner app

But the uses of QR codes go beyond that. Some of my personal favourites include:

1) Wifi Login – How many times have you had friends come over who want to connect their tablet to your home network? Then you either have to tell them, or key it in for them. With a QR code, just print it out and put it in a convenient location. If someone asks for your network details, you can just hand them the code to scan. With this, you can even hide your SSID for greater security.

2) Contact Details – Why not print one of these on the back of your namecard?

3) VCalendar Event – If you are trying to publicise an event, a QR code will allow interested parties to scan the event right into their calendars. This way, you eliminate the risk of people getting a date or time wrong.

4) Google Maps Location – Similar to the above, you can easily encode a location into the QR Code, to ensure people go to exactly the right place.
Here's my favourite budget vietnamese eatery

5) Plain Text – I’m not quite sure why anyone would do this, but a QR code can store up to 4296 characters of data, so it gives you significantly more to say than a tweet.
For the above functions and more, the best place to go is There, you can not only generate the QR Code, but stylize it and turn it into all sorts of cool products.

I recently realized that most of my SAF colleagues have no idea what a QR code is despite them being around for quite a long time. I suppose it is not surprising since most do not have camera phones, so now you know one of the good things you are missing out on! It is high time our IT security policies are reviewed to keep up with the times!