myDigitalLife Blogs

My blog will focus on topics relating to the media and new media. (Strategies, convergence and technology).

Codes of the mobile future

Posted by: Howie2.0

Tagged in: qr codes , mobile , iPhone , immediate , Data , Convenience , cellular , blackberry , barcodes


QR (Quick Response) codes are 2D barcodes and one of the innovations promising immediacy in data retrieval. They work in a similar way to the barcodes used in retail – where they are used to store product quantity and prices, except QR codes can hold much more data.

You would use your camera-enabled smartphone to ‘read’ the barcode and it would take you to either a webpage or activate an SMS message, and that’s not even the half of it!

Originally created by DENSO WAVE, The QR code carries meaningful information vertically and horizontally, hence the 2D term. By carrying information in both directions, QR code can carry up to several hundred times the amount of data carried by ordinary barcodes.

First you need

To get a QR code reader:

  • Blackberry:
  • To download the “Barcode” application from Blackberry App World
  • Then copy the URL for which you want a QR code to be generated for
  • Go to one of the generator websites (listed below) – add URL and click generate
  • Use mobile QR code scanner and let your phone do the rest
  • iPhone/Android/Blackberry:
  • download i-nigma from the Apple app store, the Android market or the Blackberry App World or
  • From Mobile Web - Go to on your mobile. I-nigma will automatically identify your handset type, download and install i-nigma.
  • Another one for Android is Barcode Scanner
  • One more for the iPhone is RedLaser

QR-Code generators

  • Kaywa
  • QR Stuff
  • Kerem Erkan
  •  automatically creates QR codes for shortened URLs. Just enter the long URL, click “shorten” and then click “details” – you will find the QR code there and you’ll get analytics, nifty huh?!
  • MyQR – also provides QR codes as well as analytics

Use QR codes for:

Linking to...

  • Personal blogs
  • Blog rolls
  • Important websites URLs
  • Event
  • Google Maps location
  • Wifi login
  • Social media
  • iTunes link
  • YouTube Video
  • Installation instructions
  • Directions
  • Customer feedback forms
  • Menus
  • Store/product information

Or even activating:

  • SMS messages       
  • Email Address’
  • Email Messages
  • Contact details
  • Mp3 downloads

 What can you do with the code?

  • Print the code out
  • Send code by email
  • Generate Hi-Res images
  • Put codes onto T-shirts, hats, mugs, business cards


Here try this example:


Scan this barcode above and watch as your phone takes you to my Twitter account!

Final thoughts

The Mobility 2011 research project, conducted by World Wide Worx and backed by First National Bank, reveals that 39% of urban South Africans and 27% of rural users are now browsing the Internet on their phones. It represents around 20 million South Africans aged 16 and above.

Mxit, Facebook and cellphone banking are the big sites/activities visited/done using mobiles, and Twitter is fast catching up to their popularity. The main mobile features that appear more popular than the rest include cameras, music, and games.

So my thoughts follow that if QR codes are utilised to give information, share content, upload User Generated Content (UGC), download music and games, and interact on social media – their usage is limitless. Instead of writing down a URL with a pen and piece of paper scavenged by randoms on the street, just lift your camera-enabled mobile and scan the QR codes to get all the details you want - quick and convenient!


So, have you used the QR code for anything? If so what?

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