The many uses of QR codes

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Since the pandemic, QR codes have become the new norm for transferring information quickly.

Whether that be a digital menu when ordering at a restaurant or booking tickets from a poster.

There are many tools online that can simplify the creation of QR codes. I even made one myself just for fun.

Have you ever wondered what other uses people have found for QR codes?

The amount will surprise you...

The most common use of QR codes is web links.

This includes interactive and static (usually PDF) restaurant menus, booking pages, surveys, payment links (such as PayPal, Stripe, SumUp, Monzo etc...) and websites in general.

Phone Numbers

Phone numbers can also be embedded in QR codes.

If you want people to call you when they scan the code, enter tel: before your phone number e.g. tel:01234567890 or tel:+441234567890 (international format) when creating your QR code.

If you want people to start composing an SMS when they scan, enter sms: before your phone number e.g. sms:01234567890 when creating the QR.

You can even specify a default message like this... sms:01234567890&body=Hello%20There - just make sure you put %20 instead of a space between each word.

Email Addresses

Similarly, you can create email links to embed in QR codes.

Just add mailto: before your email address like this when creating the QR.

You can specify a default subject like this... &subject=My%20Subject and a default email like this... &subject=My%20Subject&body=My%20Email - again using %20 instead of spaces.

Wi-Fi Credentials

Say you have your friends over and they ask for your Wi-Fi password.

Most modern smartphones are capable of scanning a QR code to connect, simplifying the process.

All you have to do is create the QR code with your Wi-Fi credentials like this... WIFI:T:WPA;S:MyNetwork;P:MyPassword;; - replacing MyNetwork with the network name (SSID) and MyPassword with the password.

Calendar Events

When formatted correctly, calendar events can be embedded into QR codes for people to scan and add to their calendars...

BEGIN:VEVENT

SUMMARY:My Event

DESCRIPTION:Event Description

LOCATION:Event Location

DTSTART:YYYYMMDDTHHMMSSZ

DTEND:YYYYMMDDTHHMMSSZ

END:VEVENT

Hint: Replace YYYY with the year, MM with the month, DD with the day, HH with the hour, MM with the minute and SS with the second for the start and end dates above.

Virtual Cards (VCards)

VCards are virtual contact or business cards.

They are the format that most phones use to store contacts.

When formatted correctly, you can embed a VCard inside a QR code so that people can add your contact when they scan...

BEGIN:VCARD

VERSION:2.1

N:Contact Name

TEL;HOME;VOICE:01234567890

TEL;WORK;VOICE:09876543210

EMAIL:

ORG:Company Name

URL:example.com

END:VCARD

Replace the highlighted parameters above as you see fit.

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