QR code is like a barcode, it was developed by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave. It stands for Quick Response because of its fast way to getting information. They are common in Japan. They are not exactly like bar codes because it can contain much more information than a normal numerical barcode; they can hold URL. QR codes do not only show up in the grocery stores and clothing stores (like in North America). It is posted on websites, billboard ads and magazine ads. Most Japanese phones have a camera that reads this QR code and brings them to the destination. The destination is a website, so they are links. When we use the computer there are links, but in Japan it is different. For example, if we see an ad for Adidas in the bus stop, there is a QR code which leads use to Adidas’ website, or something promoting the Adidas ad. Because Japanese phones have the QR reader, it is almost like links that have been put up in the real world. I have seen QR codes in some (Japanese imported) products in Richmond, but did not bother to wonder what they were. I imagine that some of our illustrator posters could have used QR codes…if they were used outside of Japan.
Someone has even extended the idea of linking with print media into fabric. It holds great communication possibilities because the QR code can send the person to a facebook, myspace, personal website, etc.