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How can a new breed of bar code help your business?

Have you noticed the small "scrambled-looking" symbols that are starting to appear all over the web and in print?

These black-and-white squares, called QR codes, are two-dimensional matrix barcodes that contain actual data such as text, web addresses or other data. Google, for example, is using QR codes to mark physical Google Map locations.

Invented for tracking vehicle parts and used internationally since the 1990s, QR Codes are now used in broad use, including commercial tracking applications and applications aimed at mobile phone users; the latter is known as mobile tagging.

All you need in order to access the data in a QR code is a QR scanner, or camera-enabled mobile phone or smartphone that is equipped with a QR scanner app. Here at Berlin, several of us with iPhones use an app called Mobile Tag, and on Android, we use Barcode Reader; however, there are many QR scanners available for a wide variety of mobile phones.

But what can a QR code do for your business? It can link prospects and customers directly to any information you want easily accessible. There are plenty of free web-based QR code generators that can embed text, a phone number, a ready-to-send SMS message or a hyperlink to whatever webpage you want! Create your company's QR code and post it in whatever medium is appropriate: stickers, business cards, signage, pets ... Okay, we're just kidding about the pets, but you really can use a QR code for anything.

When generating a QR code, keep this in mind: The more data you want stored, the smaller the code's pixels will be, which will require scanners to be more sensitive in order to read the code accurately. The more intricate a QR code looks, the more data in contains.

Want to see an example of a QR code? Check out the Contact page of our web site, and you'll see a QR code that links to our office's marker on Google Maps. After you've installed a QR Reader on your phone, hold your smartphone's camera over our QR code, and your phone will link directly to Berlin's Google Places profile.

And, from there, you can just click on our phone number and give us a call so we can help you get up and running with your own QR codes!