Uncover the Hidden Message in QR Codes

You may be asking what is that box of black and white  patterns? Is it abstract art? Perhaps an inkblot test? Or maybe if you stare at it long enough you’ll see a hidden picture? Sorry to tell you the only thing you’ll see after staring at it is a doctor after it makes you dizzy and gives you a headache.

The last guess is close, but not quite. This is a QR (Quick  Response) code. It’s a matrix barcode that can be read by QR barcode readers and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The encoded information can be either text, URL or other data.

You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need to know about it?” While QR codes are not big in the U.S. yet, it is used extensively in Japan and other Asian countries. In fact, the QR code was created in Japan by a subsidiary of Toyota back in 1994. The QR codes can appear on anything from magazines, signs, business cards or practically anything which users might need information.

As for its use in Kauai real estate, realtors can use a QR code to provide easy access to buyers and sellers regarding listings, contact information and videos to assist with their Kauai real estate needs. Real estate agents may no longer need to fill up printed ads and flyers with tons of words and pictures. The QR code can neatly imprint all that information with an eye-catching design while only taking up a minimal amount of space.

All you need to read a QR code is a smartphone with the correct reader application. You can download the QR Reader app from practically any app store for free. Once you have the app, scan the QR code as if you were taking a picture of it to display the hidden text, information or web page in your phone’s browser. It’s that simple. No need to type a web address or key in information. This allows “quick” access to the information stored in the code. Try it out on the QR code in this article to reveal our hidden message.

Interested in making your own QR code? You can create your own QR code at a number of different websites. Two well-known sites for QR code generation are http://goo.gl and http://qrcode.kaywa.com. Goo.gl allows you to shorten a URL into a goo.gl format for the QR code. After it’s shortened, click on the details link and it will create your QR code. Google will also track your QR code for the number of times it is scanned as a good way to analyze its effectiveness. Kaywa offers a few more options when creating your QR code. It lets you enter a URL site, text, phone number or SMS information and allows you to change the size of the QR code.

QR codes may finally be taking hold in the U.S. and could become the next “it” thing. With the increase in smartphone usage and prominent endorsements from Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and Post Cereals, we could be seeing more QR codes in the near future.

Erin Koshi (RA) is a Kauai real estate agent at Taba Realty & Development, LLC in Koloa. The company specializes in Kauai real estate, whether residential and commercial sales, residential and commercial property management, development services or consulting. Please feel free to comment on this post. You may contact Erin at erin@tabarealty.com.

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