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This month, I am expanding on our previous article: “All about QR Codes,” to add more details about safely reading QR codes. I will also add a bonus about creating a QR Code of your own.
To recap, QR (Quick Response) codes are machine-readable codes, typically used to store URLs (website links) or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.
For more information about the origin, safety, and common usage of QR Codes, please revisit our previous article on the topic found here.
What about reading QR Codes?
Regardless of the brands, most smartphones released within the last five years should have a QR Code reader embedded in their camera. Reading QR codes is as easy as opening the camera app and pointing the device toward the code for these smartphones. Once the camera notices the QR code, it displays the link or information stored in the QR code. At this moment, you have a choice to click on it or ignore it.
Always pay close attention to the smartphone’s message when reading the QR code to ensure you do not go to an unexpected website.
Depending on your device and the QR code reader in usage, the message read by the phone might show differently. Nevertheless, it is still the same encoded information in the QR code.
Remember, QR codes are not only for website links. They can hold many types of information such as:
- Calendar events
- Phone numbers
- Email address
- Contact information (with all the contact details)
- Wi-Fi Keys, and so much more.
See the picture below and notice the action triggered when you click on the phone’s message for more context.
What if my smartphone camera does not read QR codes?
If your smartphone camera does not come with an embedded QR code reader, you can still download one of the many QR code reader applications from the Google Play Store or the App Store. When it comes to having many application choices to pick from, a good rule of thumb is to download the one with the highest rating and, at the same time, the highest number of reviews.
QR code apps should function the same as the embedded reader of more recent smartphone cameras.
Bonus: How to create a QR Code?
There are many QR code generator applications and websites. You can find a free QR code generator here (creating a free account is required to download the QR Code created).
The picture below shows a QR code I created storing the Senior Planet website.
Try using your smartphone camera to practice reading the QR code in the picture above.
Leave a comment below with any questions or input that you might have.
Techspert Jonathan is Senior Planet’s Sr Digital Community Relations and Product Specialist and a former Senior Planet San Antonio technology trainer. He is also an iOS developer with a background in Information Systems and Cyber Security.
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I don’t have a smartphone, only an iPad. Can iI read QR codes? If so, how?
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Jonathan – A really cool overview of what QRs are about, as the use of these (and the technology per se) is bound to increase in the future.
If not mistaken, there are some origins in common with the bar code as that was developed, i.e., to translate images into other data.
The logic of the dark fields and the light fields (boxes) appears to be almost infinite in combination, for the realm of data storage, if that is pertinent to that technology.
P J G
I don’t know why would I need to create a QR code for; can you give me a sample of uses?
This will help me understand the usage.
Most people create QR Codes do so for their businesses.
I have QR code on my calling card so people can go to my website
Once you have obtained the information from the QR Code could you tell me where to find it later? I am not sure where it is stored in the phone.
If you use the native smartphone camera to read QR Codes, they won’t be stored on your device. Only some QR Code apps allow browsing the history of the QR Codes links previously read through them.