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Our blog, D Brief, shares succint expert advice, trends, tips, and ideas for marketing communications tactics—focusing on print, Web, social media, and promotional products—from a corporate visual identity perspective. We welcome your thoughts so we can learn from each other.

How to read QR codes

More and more people and companies are using and installing QR codes and QR code readers every day. One day, it may even be a standard communication vehicle!

A client recently asked us how to read QR codes. This blog post is a brief tutorial.

QR codes work with any smart phone. Because I have an iPhone I am giving instructions on how to read QR codes with the iPhone device. But Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, Nokia’s Symbian, RIM’s BlackBerry, etc., all have similar procedures.

  1. Start out by launching the App Store on your iPhone. (The other smart phone all use/sell QR Code reader apps too)
  2. Run a search for the words “QR code reader”.
  3. There are several options to choose from. I prefer “QR Reader for iPhone” aka “QRReader.” It is free and has good reviews. However it is personal preference. If one app doesn’t work for you, try another free one.
  4. Install QRReader as you would any other iPhone app.
  5. The installation shouldn’t take long. Open QRReader once it has completed.
  6. QRReader is great because once you launch it, it’s immediately in scanning mode, and it can pick up a code within seconds.
  7. Please make sure you are in good lighting and hold the device steady. Point your iPhone camera at a QR code and QRReader will pick it up right away.
  8. QR codes take you to a Web site, to view the text, to download VCARD, to view a video—-whatever the QR code was designed to do. If the contents of the QR code are a URL, it just loads the URL in its built-in web browser.

What is a VCARD?

Some QR codes will take you to a Website that allows you to input your email addy to receive a VCARD with all that company’s contact info. Once you get the VCARD, it adds the contact info to your iPhone as a new contact.

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15 May 2013