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Access For All: QR Code Technology for your PC

Although QR codes were invented sometime in the early 90s by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary, it wasn’t until a coalition of Japanese cell phone providers, designers and manufacturers decided to include QR code readers in mobile devices that they had such widespread public use. In 2002, the majority of the Japanese public hadn’t even heard of the codes, but by the end of 2003 they were everywhere in the country. Many even purchased new phones if they didn’t already own one that supported QR code scanning applications. In 2009 and 2010, QR codes began popping up in the United States as well. Although the success hasn’t been as swift and overwhelming, they are growing more and more popular each and every day.

Why haven’t Americans adapted as quickly as the Japanese? Among other reasons, some Americans are resistant to buying and owning smartphones – the technology QR code readers were designed for. Some people also cite monthly data charges, and the fact that they are “just another device” that can access the internet for their apprehension. Fortunately for these individuals, QR is no longer an incompatible technology. A number of companies have designed QR code readers that use the webcam on any PC or laptop. Some of these programs include Quickmark (which also makes a successful QR scanner app for phones), QRreader and bcTester. These programs have allowed those who are resistant to smartphone technology, or those who have yet to purchase one the ability to scan QR codes and reap the benefits. These benefits include coupons, special offers and tons of other helpful information. The downside to this alternative is that it is much less practical to carry a computer around at all times, so the readers are primarily for materials such as fliers, business cards and mail. There are also a handful of services such as ScanLife that allow you to e-mail, text or Tweet pictures of QR codes to a server where they will be read and returned to you with an accompanying link.

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