QR Codes in Everyday Life

House for Sale

I saw my friend and colleague, Kristine Scharaldi, yesterday and she shared an article with me that she had clipped out of the local newspaper. I got a real chuckle out of it. But on the way home, I started thinking about the topic some more and when I passed this house up for sale on the way to pick up my kids, I had to take a picture.

The topic of the article from Kristine was how some gravestone engravers are offering to add a QR-code for an additional fee.   What a great way to read, view and learn more about the person you are visiting if you have a smart phone.

Image source: http://a.abcnews.com

I’ve been using QR-Codes when I present as a way to quickly share the URL to the attendees. So far, most people would just assume have the URL, but there seems to be about 20% of the people that are happy to use their phones to scan the code. (My generator of choice is http://goo.gl/ because of all the statistics it provides.)

To learn about using QR Codes in school, you can also take a look at Tom Barrett‘s Interesting Ways presentation on the topic. Or view this video from McGuffey School District in Claysville, PA.

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What MY Droid Does – Part 6

QR Code for this post

One of the fantastic features of the Android phones is the ability to scan QR Codes. So, what’s a QR Code, you ask? My way of explaining it is that a QR Code is a symbol that stores a URL. When your camera phone scans it using a barcode scanner (link), it automatically launches its browser and goes to that web page. This is really convenient when shopping, viewing a website (this is the QR Code for this post is to the left), or even Geocaching.

You can make your own QR Codes easily. SO EASILY.

1. Copy and paste the following URL into your browser (don’t hit ENTER yet…)
http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=150×150&choe=UTF-8&chld=H&chl=
2. At the end of the URL (after the “=” sign), paste or type in the URL that you want your QR Code to link to – my QR Code linked to https://thumannresources.com/2010/04/22/what-my-droid-does-part-6/
3. Hit the ENTER button
4. Save the QR Code image to your hard drive (or some other location)
5. Once someone scans this QR Code, it will take them to your specified URL. (Go ahead. Try it. Scan my QR Code.)

For more information on QR Codes see:

Source: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/

Then there’s the recent release of Google Earth for the Android phone. It works really well on my Droid. I will say, though, that I would only use it in an areawith 3G. Of course I wanted to see my house, so I went to the menu and selected my location and went to my house – and then pinched my fingers to zoom in. I then went back to the menu and clicked on the Search menu and used the voice feature to search for Disney Land. Once there I tapped the “Look Around” button and changed my view so that I could get a good look around. I also went back to the main menu and explored the different layers to see what types of information were available.

You can visit the Google Earth for your Mobile phone on the web at http://www.google.com/mobile/earth/ or directly on your phone at http://m.google.com/earth.

Oh, and here’s the QR Code for Google Earth in the Android Apps Market:

QR Code for Google Earth

Lastly, I’ve been using Seesmic on my Droid. I had been noticing that many were Tweeting from it, so I thought I would give it a try. The mobile version of Seesmic seems to be a full featured application. It has:

  • Easy access to Twitter Lists that I’ve created and that follow me
  • A tutorial built right into the application
  • You can manage your profile from within the app
  • Varied selection of external services (photos, URL shorteners, video hosts)
  • Options for notifications

Here’s the QR Code for Seesmic in the Android Apps Market:

QR Code for Seesmic