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Evolved Mommy | September 24, 2014

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What is a QR Code? Why You Should Care. - Evolved Mommy

Various QR Code examples

Today's random collection of QR codes

Have you noticed that lately there are these strange little black and white graphic boxes everywhere? They are on pages of magazines, on business cards, on clothing tags and on my fruit. Um… why?

They are called QR codes, or Quick Response codes, and they can be very helpful little things. They can also be nearly useless. If you have a smart phone you can scan them and learn more about the product, business or person with which they are associated.

Let’s talk about two examples.

A Useless QR Code

I bought a pineapple, a whole pineapple, the other day because my daughter loves them. At home I couldn’t remember if I should cut it first into quarters, then cut out the core from each quarter or if I should slice it, avoiding the core in the first place. Thankfully, or so I thought, there on the Del Monte tag hanging from my pineapple was a QR code.

Del Monte Pineapple Tag

Back of the Del Monte Pineapple Tag that shows a QR code

Back of the Del Monte Pineapple Tag

What did I find?

Del Monte qr code copy text

Words. Yuck!

Who is going to read that? Who really cares what the principal variety of pineapple is? Gah!

I scrolled down and there were two videos. Surely one is about how to cut the dad gum pineapple.

del monte pineapple qr code video

Less Words. More Color. And Videos to click. Yay!

I’ll never know. I clicked on each video and this is what I got:

Del Monte Pineapple QR Code Video Error

Are you freakin' kidding me? I just want to know how to slice this piece of fruit.

Ugh. Moving on. Let’s talk about how to do it right.

A Useful QR Code

This spring when we were planning our raised bed gardens I noticed that a few of the tomato plants at the store had QR codes on the their labels (you know, that thing you stick in the ground near your plant so that later you can remember what in the world you planted there when it’s dead).

I picked one up and scanned it with my handy iPhone app (stay tuned and I’ll tell you how that works in a minute).

Low and behold! There on my iPhone screen was all the info I needed about how to plant the tomato, what to plant near/with it and more.

Bonnie Plants Cherokee Purple Tomato Plant Tag with QR code

Bonnie Plants Cherokee Purple Tomato Tag with QR Code

bonnie plants cherokee purple qr code picture

I like pictures. No text in the "top fold" here.

It turns out Bonnie Plants is really on top of technology in their industry and is doing it right. Once you scan one of their QR codes you are immediately taken to a super useful mobile site where you can easily find such awesome things as complete plans for several 4×4 raised beds. Everything from instructions on how to build the raised bed to what to plant.

Bonnie Plants super useful qr code content

Bonnie Plants QR Code Resources

They made tomatoes fun. AND… thanks to some of their useful info my tomatoes are doing really well.

bonnie plants cherokee purple heirloom tomato

Our first Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato. I love how weird heirloom tomatoes look.

toddler loves heirloom tomatoes

Charlie giving it a try

toddler girl love heirloom cherokee purple tomato

I think she loves it.

toddler girl loves heirloom bonnie plant cherokee purple tomato

Yep. She definitely loved it.

How to scan QR codes

First, you must have a smart phone.

There are several QR code scanning apps out there, but the one I have found most useful is actually the AT&T Scanner app.

Why is it the most useful? Because you can switch quickly back and forth between scanning SKUs and QR code. This comes in handy when you are at Wal-Mart and wondering what the reviews are on a particular baby pool.

Just scan the SKU and magically you are a well-informed shopper. Voila!

You can even create your own QR code. More on that later.

What’s the most interesting thing you have seen with a QR code?

Comments

  1. Shannon

    Thanks! I was jut asking Nathan about these yesterday and trying to figure them out

  2. Karen M

    Here at the hospital, we have had those for years!!! Call em Aztec symbols, ???why?? Don’t know, but you scan them and helpful patient information comes up!!!

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