2-D BarcodesInformation and Content Written By Paul Matsumoto

What Are 2-D Codes? 

Barcodes transmit information in a variety of ways. Two-dimensional barcodes are used everywhere and are also referred to as quick response codes. 2-D barcodes and 3-D barcodes are both being used to describe quick response codes, although 3-D barcodes are typically engraved on a product rather than being on a sticker. Three-dimensional barcodes also have a “bumpy” feel to them when you rub your finger across it.

2-D codes have gained in popularity in North America over the last few years thanks to the smartphone. Having this web-enabled phone with a QR code reader installed is what gives a person the ability to scan and access the information encrypted into these codes. You will see these codes more and more and if you want to be able to access the information you’ll have to download a reader application.

If you’re using a smartphone with an Android operating system all you have to do is visit the Android market and search for a 2-D code reader. Most will be free to download but there are some that will require a small payment.

Once the software is installed, simply find a 2-D code, open the application, and hold your camera over the code in order to scan it. After you scan it, the information can be read on your smartphone screen. Usually the information is a URL and all you have to do is open your browser to visit the website.

These codes are not limited to linking to a URL. Businesses can use these codes to link to promotions, how to videos, virtual tours, company history, or just about any type of information relevant to the product or business. They can be found on websites, business cards, stickers, clothing, menus, brochures, displays, posters, and real estate signs.

In order to create a QR code all you need to do is a Google search for QR code generators. Most of these can be found for free as well and you simply put the information in and generate the code. You can then download it, print it, or email it. Some generators give you more options to change the color scheme and even add a logo for branding purposes.

Once you become more comfortable with these codes you can be more creative with the information you add to them. Make sure that any website you link to can be easily viewed using a mobile phone and provide consumers with relevant and valuable information. Also include information with the code instruction people how to scan it, where they can get a reader, and what they will find in the code.

These codes can also be used by any type of business large or small. It’s a great and fun tool to use in your marketing campaign and because it’s still relatively new, people will be happy to scan the code as long as they have the capabilities to do so. Once the newness wears off though they may be less likely to bother and that is why it is important to be creative and unique.