Recently you may have seen some strange, barcode-looking squares in advertising or placed around the shops. These are what are known as QR codes, small pictures that can be scanned with most modern mobile phones that are then decoded to provide you with information. QR codes have started being used more and more for advertising, virtual city tours and even video games, so really QR codes can contain anything you like!
Although they’ve only really become prominent over the last few years they were actually invented in 1994 by Toyota to track cars while they were being built. As cameras and phones have developed over the years we have been given an easy way to read QR codes and so they are finding their way into everyday life.
What’s interesting though is how simple it is to generate QR codes for yourself. There are multiple sites that do this for you, simply type in your URL, phone number, whatever and they will produce a downloadable QR code jpg for you to use, however you want.
What’s most exciting for us is the potential for QR codes in yearbooks. Imagine a yearbook having additional media content built in the paper itself! You could have codes that take people to YouTube videos of events, maybe one that plays the school song, one that shows photos that didn’t make it into the book or even give every student a QR codes on their profile page to take users to their ACTUAL social media profile. There are literally hundreds of uses for this if you get creative and it makes your book even bigger and more dynamic than you originally thought.
Here at Fusion Books we are considering implementing our own QR code generator into our software however that does not mean you can’t start right now! Click here or search for “QR code generator” in Google and start making your own! After that simply upload the QR code jpg into your yearbook just like you would with every other image. That’s it!
Let us know what other uses QR codes we could have in a yearbook and share the creativity.
You should encourage people to download QR reader software on their phones, iPod touches, iPad 2s and computers with webcams, so they can access the additional content, and remember to have an area in the book explaining what the codes are for and how to use them.
If you have managed to find a QR reader for your phone, point it at the picture below for an example of how QR codes work.