What will be next big thing? It’s impossible to say of course. One possibility is QR code.
Wonder what the black and white square on the left side of this Web page is about? That is QR code. It is a 2-dimensional barcode. (The familiar black and white lined strips are basically one-dimensional.)
QR code enables you to encode much more information than the bar code. The bar code (or UPC) can contain only numbers. But QR can contain so much more, including text and even pictures.
You may even have seen QR code on product stickers, notably USPS postage stamps dispenser from automated machines. So what’s the big deal now? Well, smart phones such as iPhone and the G-phone can run software which, combined with the built-in camera, can read the QR code. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyplace.
Scan the code to the left into your iPhone. It will yield the URL of this Web site that can load into the phone’s browser.
With the growth in smart phones, combined with the ease of generating the little squares with online apps (best is Kaywa.com), they are sure to become ubiquitous.
Imagine strolling down the street and seeing a poster about a sale at a nearby store. Scan the QR code into your phone, and it will automatically load a URL with a Google Map location and directions to get there.
Or you see a piece of street art. Scan the code and find out the name of the artist and where you can purchase it online.
Or if you have kids, in case they get lost, put their name, address and location info on their shoes or clothing.
Any advertisement could include QR code to provide access to more product info and a URL, enabling advertisers to track offline to online metrics with much greater accuracy than possible today.
Of course, there are countless other possibilities. Expect to see more QR code in 2009.
How Stuff Works UPC bar code
Wikipedia: QR Code