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What do nappy rash, Calvin Klein and Pernod have in common?

And you could throw in to the mix – Marks & Spencer, nautical charts and Toyota, too. Any ideas? The answer is the QR code, the little white box with black square dots forming a geometric pattern on it. The pattern of dots forms a matrix barcode which can be read by a camera on a smartphone phone using a simple free app. The data in the QR code (by the way, QR stands for Quick Response) can direct the phone straight to a website, video, webpage, word document or load a game or app on to your phone.

qr code

So, the link between nappy rash, Calvin Klein, Pernod, Marks & Sparks, boats and Toyota? QR codes are being printed on the absorbent area of nappies to detect infections, Calvin Klein used giant QR codes on billboards to deliver an “uncensored” video, Pernod use QR codes to fight counterfeiters, M&S feature QR codes in their shop windows to go straight to specific webpages with sales offers, the UK Hydrographic Office adds QR codes to its nautical charts, to give access to additional vital status information. And Toyota? Well, QR codes were developed by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994 to track automobile parts and from that simple manufacturing need, the technology now sits on xxm mobile phones and, during the Christmas 2013 season alone, QR codes were scanned 10.4 million times!
[Ref: ScanLife.com 2013 Trend Report]

Coming soon: The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly QR Codes.

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