QR codes are not a new thing, the first ‘quick response’ code was invented in 1994 by Japanese company Denso Wave designed for high speed component scanning.

Following the smartphone revolution QR codes have become ubiquitous. We see them everywhere from food packaging to in store augmented reality displays.

Whether you are using an iPhone or a Samsung you don’t need any special software or applications on your mobile device. Simply open your phone’s camera app and hover over the code. You will see a weblink prompt appear to take you to a destination URL. If you’re reading this on your phone, ask a friend to hover over the sample QR below on their phone and watch what happens:

QR Code

It is not only a link to a URL which is a common use with your phone. Companies use this for augmented reality purposes. Winemaker 19 Crimes cleverly embed a code into the label which brings the label to life. This requires the use of their app but native QR response for the general phone camera is becoming more prevalent.

The codes are also often used like a barcode to reference and register to a specific data source. An example could be your loyalty card for your favourite coffee shop, you may have a specific QR code in your app which is scanned on purchase so the points can link quickly and seamlessly to your account on their system.

Most commonly, in everyday life you will find them on packaging, labels or physical marketing material such as fliers and receipts. You may also see them in stores by products which are intended to bring up data about the product or an augmented reality experience. Simply hover your phone camera as you did with the code above and generally information will appear or you will be directed to a web page.

It is always sensible to be comfortable with the QR code provenance if you are clicking on links to ensure it is a website you are aware of and happy to visit. If it is a trusted source, don’t be afraid as many brands use the codes to promote special offers or additional information about products to help you learn more about the brands and products you love.

Security is important to us and we are keen to keep TORRO users enjoying tech as safely as possible, if this has been of interest read about RFID and how to protect your credit cards in a TORRO bi-fold wallet.