We live in a world of evolving communications, and when we want to leave contact information with someone, we really on business cards, an old standard dating back to the 1600s. I’m not saying cards are a bad thing, just we need to look at the emerging communications. I like the well written article I came across for using QR Codes when bussiness cards aren’t an option, you have no pockets.
QR Codes are a two dimensional barcode as opposed to the grocery store styled vertical bars. The most complex QR Codes can contain 1,264 characters, that’s half of this article. So what should you put in a QR Code? Business cards are limited in space and while they can be two-sided, you still need to be careful about overcrowding. The same applies to QR Codes, you can put a lot of info, doesn’t mean you should.
Options for a single thing on your QR Code are easy, your name, your email, your website or your Facebook. What if you want all of them and a phone number or combination of other info? This is where another technical standard applies, the vCard.
vCards allow for formatted data that can include everything from Name, address and phone number to birthday and geographic location. Once you’ve created vCard information, it can be put in a QR Code, most modern phones and tablets can get free apps to scan the info and make use of it. On my Andriod phone I use Barcode Scanner by ZXing. I have added QR Droid by Driodla for creating QR Codes on my devices. Now I can show someone a QR Code on my phone, they can scan it with theirs, and quickly add it to their contacts on the phone or tablet, if its android, it syncs with their gmail too.
There are other ways of transferring this information, Aztec Code, Maxi Code, NFC (near field communications), but none of them are as common and readily available as QR Code. One photographer that I know has taken to sticking removable vinyl to the back of his phone, with a QR Code on it.
Why not get rid of business cards altogether and just flash your QR Code? Even in a technically advanced mecca like Seattle and Vancouver, there are still people that don’t have the equipment (smartphone) to read QR Codes. For them, carry a few business cards, let the others scan, then they can’t complain, “Oh sorry, I lost your card.”