QR Code Update: QR Pilot Comes to the United States

Posted by CorinneRamey on Apr 05, 2008

As we've written before, QR codes (a mobile bar code like the one in the image) have great potential for use by nonprofits and advocacy organizations to provide "just-in-time" issue information, be used as a recruitment tool, or provide an easy way to connect with an organization or make a donation. As QR codes become more widely used in the commercial sector, and as more people download the necessary software on their phones to be able to read the codes, nonprofits are likely to take advantage of the codes as well.

In San Francisco in the United States, a large test of QR tests is now under way. Imagine walking down the street of the city trying to choose a restaurant where you'd like to eat. You take out your mobile phone, and take a quick photo of the QR code posted in the window. This code then takes you to the Citysearch page for the restaurant, where you can read reviews, menus and other information about the restaurant.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle,

The pilot program is being watched by the country's largest cellular carriers. More than 500 restaurants, shops and businesses reviewed by Citysearch are placing printed bar codes in their windows. People who have special software from Scanbuy Inc. loaded on their cell phones can simply take a picture of the code and their phone's Internet browser will immediately take them to the restaurant's corresponding Citysearch page.

The bar codes are valuable because, as the Chronicle writes, they allow "...a company or business to engage customers in an immediate way, giving them information that would be hard to deliver otherwise." Although QR codes are fairly new in the U.S., they've been used in other countries extensively, especially Japan. The codes can be linked not only to webpages, but to downloads, phone numbers, and text messages as well.

There are QR code generators -- such as Kaywa -- that make QR codes for phone numbers, websites, SMS, or written text. If you have a phone with a barcode reader, try scanning this code and it will take you to the MobileActive website.  For more QR codes and nonprofit use cases, see this story on the MobileActive blog.


Social QR Code

Next time you create a QR Code, try www.SocialQRCode.com. It is designed for businesses to promote their social properties and get more Facebook "Likes" and Twitter "Followers". Users can also create coupons that are sharable on Facebook and Twitter.

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