What’s this black-and-white graphic?
You’re looking at a type of barcode called a QR code. It’s designed to squeeze bits of information down into a square that mobile devices can scan quickly. Once scanned, a QR code gets translated into usable information, for example, a link to a website that you can go to right away, without typing anything. How convenient!
How to use
To scan a QR code, your mobile device needs:
- a working camera
- a barcode scanner app that can read QR codes
Google provides some suggestions for selecting a QR code scanner for various brands of cell phones. I was amused to read Google’s recommendation for Apple:
The URL for QuickMark in the Google support page referenced above is
I smile again, contemplating the Google QA team shopping on iTunes and then evaluating various “Apple devices” and QR code scanners. I hope they had as much fun as the test engineers in the competitive analysis lab down the hall from me when I worked at IBM!