Direct to Web via the pages of The MHEDA Journal
This Summer issue of The MHEDA Journal is all about successful strategies for tough times. Things have not been quiet over the last two years in the area of research & development, and companies are hard at work creating new technologies and products. If we learned nothing else during this downturn, we learned that end-users want to be more efficient and productive. There are some very exciting ideas you will read about in this issue.
A very exciting development in this magazine is a way for readers to have quick access to suppliers’ information. You will notice a new feature in this edition of The MHEDA Journal: quick response bar codes in some of the advertisements. A quick response bar code—simply referred to as a QR code—is a two-dimensional matrix bar code like the one seen below. QR codes have a variety of uses, and may be read using various applications on most types of smartphones, such as BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm and phones that run on Google’s Android operating system.
A QR code in an advertisement in this issue will lead you to a website page chosen by the advertiser, sometimes with a special offer limited to MHEDA members. Other uses for QR codes include coupons, text messages, contact information and more.
It’s easy to read the QR code using your smartphone. For BlackBerry users, version 5.0 and newer of BlackBerry Messenger will read QR codes that direct readers to the desired website pages. You can also download other software from App World, BlackBerry’s application marketplace that can scan QR codes with other types of information.
Palm and Android phones, along with the iPhone, require a third-party application, commonly referred to as an “app.” Apps are available at no cost and are just another tool for accessing information. Simply go to your phone’s application marketplace—Palm App Store, Apple iTunes App Store, or Android Market—search for “QR code reader” and download the app that best suits your needs.
QR codes are encoded under international standards (ISO/IEC 18004:2006). There are a wide variety of QR code generators online, which you can find by going to Google and searching for “QR code generator.”
Why use a QR code? In an increasingly mobile, increasingly connected world, QR codes help connect businesses and their customers, whenever and wherever it is convenient for the customer. If you are reading this magazine while traveling, you can pull out your smartphone, scan a QR code, and, with one click, access a special offering designed specifically with you in mind. Extra benefit: The elimination of having to type in a long address to reach a specific Web page address. Another benefit: One less thing on your “to do” list. After all, if you see something that warrants more information, why not access that information immediately?
QR codes are already in wide use in Japan, and they are starting to gain in popularity throughout the United States. They are showing up on business cards, on the sides of buses, on product labels and now on advertisements in the pages of this magazine.
What is the future of QR codes? It really is wide open. Today, they allow us to provide you with immediate information in an efficient manner. We are closing the gap between this magazine that you are holding in your hands right now, and information that is electronically available to you from suppliers of the products you work with every day.
Innovation is a beautiful thing.