A QR Code (Quick Response Code) is a special kind of bar code that can be read by mobile phones and can be encoded with all sorts of information: URLs, contact information, location data, text, etc. We’re going to be using QR codes as Great Lakes THATCamp on every camper’s badge – as a way to cut down on the paper footprint by reducing the need for the business card shuffle that is so customary at most academic conferences. (besides, QR codes are just cool – and there is nothing wrong with that).
So, how does this work? Well, when you meet someone at Great Lakes THATCamp, scan their badge with your smartphone (more on that later) and you’ll download their vital information (name, email, website, etc.) which, depending on your phone, can be imported directly into your contacts.
Before you can actually scan a QR code, you need the correct reader for your phone. Here are some suggestions:
- iPhone: I-Nigma
- Windows Mobile: Bee Tagg
- BlackBerry: I-Nigma or BeeTagg
- Android: Google Zxing Reader
- Nokia: I-Nigma
Scanning a QR code is a snap:
- Activate the QR reader on your phone.
- Aim your camera at the code, the camera should be centered and on level with the tag (most readers have problems if the QR code is scanned at an angle)
- Make sure your phone is close enough that the code takes up the majority of the screen – Don’t cut off any of the codes edges.
- Depending on the reader and your type of smart phone, you may have to take the photo yourself or it might do it automatically.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed a reader, try it out on the handy dandy demo QR code included on the top of this page.