PCB Assembly Services - Screaming Circuits: Fun With QR Codes


Fun With QR Codes

Does anyone remember the CueCat? I think it came out in 1999 or something like that. It was a system that involved putting bar codes in print articles, advertisements and such. Users would buy a CueCat scanner and could then scan the bard codes which would send their web browser to a specified URL .

Chart2011-10-25 Chart2011-11-28Kind of cool and a bit ahead of it's time, but really? Who's going to spend a hundred dollars to buy something that makes it easier to look up advertisements? That reminds me of a job interview I had around that same time. The gentleman interviewing me had invented a system that would push advertisements to cell phones via text message for businesses close by. The idea was that phone owners would sign up for the service by giving their number to the company. Other companies like grocery stores, coffee shops or insurance agents would also sign up for the service and would send ads or coupons to people close by. Again. Really? Someone's going to sign up to get ads on their phone? And that was back when most phone plans still charged per text message.

Chart2011-12-21Well, today, we have QR codes to more or less do the same thing. They're square bar codes that can contain information such as an electronic business card or a URL. The big difference now is that you don't have to sign up for anything or buy anything. Most smart phones can read them with a free app.

That was a long, round-about way of saying that I'm trying the system out. All of the QR codes here link to a blog posts of mine. There are no advertisements in these and none of them will sign you up to visit a timeshare sale pitch. I just like these particular posts. Get out your phone and try it out.

Duane Benson
Fight Uni!

Chart2012-04-24 Chart2012-06-13





Chart2012-06-27 Chart2012-07-05


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Jim - I had forgotten that Radio Shack was giving them away. If I recall correctly, the original intent was to sell them. I believe they tried for a while before giving them away, but that was a number of years ago so I could be remembering incorrectly.

Regardless, it was before its time, but the QR code seems to be gaining traction.

Of course, if the QR code becomes nothing more than a sneaky way to get phone users to unwanted ads, it will eventually die out as well.

And still noone wanted them.

The CueCat didn't cost a hundred dollars. RadioShack gave them away for free.

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