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By now, most Americans have seen a QR code, even if they didn’t initially understand why these two-dimensional matrix bar codes were suddenly appearing on products, advertisements and business cards.
Called QR for “quick response,” the codes were created in 1994 by Japanese automakers to track parts.
Now companies around the world use them to link consumers directly to their websites, where they can shop and find coupons, special offers and product information.
While QR codes are already considered outmoded by the creators of next-generation apps that link the physical and virtual worlds in quicker and more entertaining ways, at least one New Mexico advertising agency believes QR codes haven’t outlived their usefulness and are more reliable than newer so-called “hardlinking” technologies.
Defining the value
Reading QR codes requires a scanner that’s available as a smartphone application. The scanner converts the image to an Internet address, where the digital content is posted.
Without the smartphone, the QR code is unreadable, making it worthless to people whose mobile phones lack Internet connectivity.
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