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Meet QR Codes

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By Seth Kaplan

RISMEDIA, June 24, 2010—In the past, I’ve mentioned the importance of being able to recognize shifts in communication and adapt quickly in order to use new mediums to your advantage. Last week proved to be a prime example of that for me and my company. As I walked down New York’s Fifth Avenue, from 56th Street to Bryant Park, a stretch that some would call the “Retail Mecca of the World,” I noticed something in the window of a store that made me stop and think.

Right there, front and center, in the window of Best Buy was a huge poster with a “QR Code” (quick-response code) on it. As the saying goes, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” which made me think that if we’re seeing these in midtown Manhattan, we are going to start seeing a lot more QR Codes in the near future.

In the midst of my curiosity, I pulled out my mobile device. As a BlackBerry user, I know I have the ability to scan the QR Codes of other BlackBerry users (for the purposes of capturing someone’s BlackBerry Messenger contact info), but I wasn’t sure if it would work outside of the BlackBerry operating system and, frankly, I had never tried before. So I held my phone to the store window, scanning the QR Code in anticipation…low and behold it worked! My device was able to read the code and instantly pop open Best Buy’s mobile website in seconds.

To offer some background, QR Codes are two-dimensional bar codes that were invented in 1994 by the Japanese firm Denso-Wave. The “QR” stands for quick response, which is what happens when you use your phone to scan one; you instantly get the information embedded in the code, such as a link to a website, contact information or information about an event, just to name a few.

As I continued on my walk down Fifth Avenue, my mind raced with the possibilities of how Mobile Card Cast could incorporate QR Codes into our overall Mobile Marketing System; both within the real estate industry and outside. As I mentioned, all BlackBerry devices with the latest version of the BlackBerry Messenger have a QR Code reader already built in, as do many Android devices; iPhone users can select a number of different QR Code readers from the App Store to download.

By the time I got back to the office the next day, our team was already tackling the issues of how to generate codes and incorporate them into and design new programs and platforms specifically to leverage QR Codes. Without letting the cat out of the bag, one of the immediate ways we will begin incorporating QR Codes is in conjunction with mobile websites. Every mobile website will have a dedicated QR Code, which will serve to launch the site immediately upon being scanned.

QR Codes are a great way to transform static print advertisements into interactive displays. Imagine an ad in a newspaper or magazine in which you could take advantage of a limited-time offer instantly just by scanning the code. The same could be true for real estate ads: scan the QR Code and instantly have all the information you need about a property right on your phone. Of course, you want to make sure your site is fully mobile enabled before having a QR Code launch your site.

With all the advances being made in mobile technology, it’s certain to say we will see a lot of new and exciting applications and tools come about over the coming months and years.

What’s important is that you select a mobile provider that is on the cutting edge today to help you create and integrate a mobile solution into your existing marketing mix. Those on the forefront today have the best ability to quickly adapt and incorporate the latest and greatest into their existing solutions seamlessly and efficiently for the benefit of you; their consumer.

Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate ID.

For more information, visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.

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