You may have noticed that we’ve been reviewing quite a lot of Android applications and widgets here at Zath lately, and on many of our Android app reviews, we’ve included those strange square barcodes or more specifically “QR codes” containing direct links to the application on the Android Market.
Many people, however, are unfamiliar with QR codes, and quite a few people have been asking me “just what is a QR code, then?”. Well, you may be surprised to know that the QR code isn’t a recent development, nor was it developed specifically for the purpose of serving links to Android applications. Want to know more? Read on!…
The QR code was actually developed in 1994, way before anyone thought of Android or smartphones (such as the HTC Desire or the Google Nexus One), by a Japanese company called Denso. It was created so that any information held inside the code could be decoded really quickly without large amounts of processing power, hence the name “Quick Response” code.
Despite being originally developed to track vehicle parts in the manufacturing process, they’re now used much more widely, especially in Japan, where they can be found in billboards or advertisements for customers to quickly scan and get more information.
When you see them on Zath, they’ll probably contain links to Android Market applications, although they can also house URL’s and other information. Take the one above, for example, if you scan that with your Android mobile phone, you’ll be taken straight to our home page on the device you scan it with.
If you want to be able to scan QR codes, there are various ‘barcode scanner‘ applications scattered around the App Store and Market to download.
You can even generate your own code at a site such as Kaywa. What are the best ways in which you could use QR codes in your life?