Using a QR code reader on your mobile device, you can scan the above image to go to the Wikipedia page on QR codes.
Have you started seeing QR codes everywhere you look? Maybe you’ve been noticing funny looking barcodes but weren’t sure exactly what they were ...
QR codes (QR stands for "quick response") have been taking off in part because of the popularity of smart phones and tablets, but also because they are an easy way to link the "real" world with the "virtual." Just point your phone's camera at a QR code posted in the real world, click a button, and your phone's browser will open up an associated webpage.
Imagine you are walking through a museum exhibit and are interested in a painting; scanning the QR code that is discreetly mounted beside the painting takes you to a website with (for example) images of the artist’s other work, a timeline of their career, or perhaps links to artists from the same time period or who work in the same genre.
QR codes were first used in the automotive industry (thanks, Toyota!) as a means of tracking parts through the production line. Now they're appearing everywhere—from print magazines to bus stops to museums, where they are being used to enhance users’ experiences by linking them to content that is relevant to their location.
QR codes are also popping up on tickets, and in stores where they can be used to offer product-specific coupons.
How does it work?
A URL (web link) is embedded in the image so that when using a device with a camera and the correct scanning application (there are several apps freely available -- see "more info" in the sidebar), it will open a web page, contact information, image, or a PDF.
To make a QR code you can use any of the free online QR Code generators: put in the link and it will generate a QR Code that can be put on pretty much any item you can imagine.
Cheap (free), easy to create, and applicable to a wide array of uses — don’t expect QR codes to go away anytime soon!