Using QR Codes for Contact Info
by Chaunce Dolan on Monday, July 19th, 2010
With increasing popularity of QR Codes (Quick Response Codes), we are seeing different uses of them pop up all over the place from Foursquare locations to even Calvin Klein billboards. But have you considered the possibilities of using QR codes in other useful ways like providing your contact information?
QR Codes are very versatile and can hold all sorts of different types of valuable information from your name, an email address, a phone number, a URL, or a street address. One of the more useful applications of QR codes is for providing all of your contact info at one time to someone scanning it.
There are several types of formatting options for contact info. From our testing, MECARD was the most recognizable format for QR readers. However, there are a few other types of formats that you can try: AU format, BIZCARD, and vCard just to name a few.
How to generate the code
- Visit Google’s Chart Wizard
- Click the Editor tab
- Select QR Code from the Chart type
- Reformat the sample below to and input your code
- Click outside the input field to have it render the QR code
MECARD:N:Joe Morales;ADR:2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101;TEL:6191029501;EMAIL:firstname.lastname@example.org;
What to do with your code
- Making the QR code larger makes complex codes easier to read by scanners
- Take a screen shot of the finished image
- Add the image to whatever object you plan to show people (business card, background on your phone, t-shirt, store front, billboard, etc.)
Now get a QR reader for your smart phone so that you can read other QR codes out there.
For the iPhone we use a free app called i-nigma. We also came across a list of apps tested by Splitbrain.org that seemed helpful if you would rather fork out some cash for an app.
Sep 15, 2010: AT&T Scanner was released for free and it is far better than i-nigma as it brings up the actually iPhone contact add/edit screen.
For Android phones we use a free app called Barcode Scanner. Some readers will be smart enough to transfer the contact info from your QR code directly to your smart phone.