Barcodes have been around a long time. In Europe and Japan they have been used for many years. The code on the left is called a QR Barcode. QR stands for Quick Response and this particular format was developed by Denso-Wave in 1994. Denso-Wave is a subsidiary of Toyota and even though they own the patent on this type of code, they have made is freely public without exercising any restrictions. What is so cool about the technology is that Denso-Wave has made the code freely available to the public even though it was originally designed as a way to manage parts in the manufacturing of automobiles. I won't bore you with all the details on how they are made but give you some examples of how they are used.
Barcodes have been used for a long time to track and manage inventory in retail markets. These types of barcodes are called UPC or Universal Product Code. UPC codes help retailers track and manage inventories. When you checkout at the store, the code of a product is scanned and a computer system looks up the price and adds it to your total transaction. On the back end, this same computer system deducts from the store's inventory one of the items you just purchased. This helps the retailer know what they have left in stock and also what to order without anyone keying in the information. Pretty simple really.
QR Barcodes are used in a different manner. A QR code is typically used by a mobile device such as a cell phone or smart phone. With the camera of the phone turned on, you can scan the barcode and receive additional information directly to your handheld device such as a web page without having to type in the web site address on your mobile device. How handy is this? It is great for those of us with huge fingers and itsy, bitsy keyboards trying to look something up on their smart phone.
OK-I could ramble along all day about the merits of barcodes, but they are simply a way to make it easy for you to type in information to your smart phone in order to make it easier for you to go a web site or other online, mobile information. Here's a list of my most favorite barcode apps.
Get a barcode reader for your phone. Scan.Mobi, ScanLife, 2Dscan, Lynkee Some are free and some aren't. Check them out and see which works for you best. TIPS: Some really good tips I have found to help me when scanning barcodes:
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