QR codes are a natural extension of the conventional barcode, which everyone is familiar with these days. The one on the right contains the link to our site's Home page and nothing else. Scanning this into your smart device will take you directly to that link without you having to do anything else.

"The QR code system was invented in 1994 by Denso Wave. Its purpose was to track vehicles during manufacturing; it was designed to allow high-speed component scanning. QR codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile-phone users (termed mobile tagging). QR codes may be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user's device, to open a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), or to compose an email or text message. There are a great many QR code generators available as software or as online tools. The QR code has become one of the most-used types of two-dimensional code."(From

To use QR codes all you need is a smartphone or tablet with a QR reader app installed (mostly free) and you're ready to go. You use the device's camera to scan the image of the QR code, and more and more devices are coming onto the market where downloading and launching a special app is not necessary anymore.

After you have created and printed a QR Code on your Website, magnetic car sign ad, letterhead, business card, the front window of your store, etc., the person you hand your card etc to will need a QR reader app to actually use the QR code - along with a smartphone that has a decent camera.

All of this means that any potential customer can be walking along the sidewalk and see your QR code on the side of your vehicle, or on your business front door, and simply scan it with their phone. An Android user can use something like the QR Droid QR reader app. An iPhone user could be using the QR Reader for iPhone app. Both apps are free of charge (as are all the QR reader apps listed below), and are quick and easy to download and install.

There are many sites online that allow you to produce your own QR code image, and a great number of them are free of charge. A Google search for “Free QR code generator” will bring up hundreds of results, each offering many different options. When you generate your code you then download the image and you can then have that inserted into your advertising and printed out for use.

Here are some good FREE QR reader apps.

For Android:

Barcode Scanner

QR Droid

QR Reader for Android


For Apple iOS QR Apps ( iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch ):


QR Reader for iPhone

Optiscan Version 2.0


Windows Phone 7 FREE QR Reader Apps:



Bee Tag

QR Reader for Windows

Blackberry QR Apps:



QR Reader for Blackberry


Download a free guide to learn how to create QR codes for yourself, here:

30 Ways To Advertise With Your QR Codes

How To Find Out How Many People Have Scanned Your Qr Code

As well as receiving information on the number of scans, TinyQR also provides detailed analytics on the user's location, the date/time and user's device type.

TinyQR provides a powerful online management system so you can easily organise your QR codes, assess the success of each campaign and dynamically change the destination of a QR code whenever you want.

You can sign up for a free account limited to one QR code and 1000 scans here: