QR codes are popping up everywhere. Retailers are using them to entice consumers to check out special offers. The City of New York is requiring that by 2013 every building in NYC will have a building permit with a QR code to provide information about that permit.
It seems like a fad. But I think it's going to be more than that. PingTags.com allows you to create a QR Code for free - that will link to any URL would like. I picked the URL for my LinkedIn profile since I use this on the back of my business card. People say "hey you're geeking out on technology". I say - why not check it out and see the value in what it can do for your business!
I seem QR codes on buses and on the back of trucks. I'm thinking - hmmm - how the heck am I going to use my BarCode reader to capture that code? Thus far, I've been unsuccessful. But on stationery objects like buildings, brochures, websites, business cards, signs, etc., it makes sense.
And if you want, you can get a designer QR code made that has a graphic or logo in it. There are creative agencies that specialize in "designer codes."
How do you read them? If you have a smartphone you can download a free barcode reader from your App store. I use the Samsung Epic, which is a Droid, so I go to the Market to download my apps. My choice was I-nigma. It's one of the most popular ones out there. It's awesome.
The rival to QR codes is MS Tags. They have a completely different look - and so people will get start to recognize that they need the Microsoft reader in order to get the information from the Tag. I haven't crossed that bridge yet. I've mostly encountered QR codes on restaurant receipts. But since it's Microsoft, I'm sure MS Tags will start gaining popularity.
You'll see more industry stats posted about QR codes as we move along. It's a rapidly growing area.