Maybe you’ve seen them start to turn up on the television, products or in magazines and wondered what they were. If you believe in government conspiracy theories, you might just think this new graphic mark was designed to secretly track your every move! Quick, look behind you!

In reality, the QR (Quick Response) barcode can be scanned and read with the click of a smartphone camera that is equipped with the correct reader application. The code contains customized information and can be used in a variety of ways to market products or services.

Contact your cell phone provider or search the web to find out if the reader is available for your camera phone. Once you have installed the software, all you need to do is point your smartphone at one of these codes and watch what happens!

By taking a photo of the two-dimensional custom code from your Internet-enabled smartphone, you can view images and websites instantly. These codes are more useful than standard barcodes because they can store and digitally transmit much more information quickly and easily.

So, what really are the benefits of a QR Code other than being the latest gimmick? Scanning requires less effort than typing and remembering a website link (url) which means connecting with your target audience just became much easier and quicker.

Add the QR code to any marketing piece, media or physical object so your potential customer can easily gain product and contact details, coupons and even links to your Twitter, Facebook and YouTube videos. The codes are even being used as business cards and registration badges to cut down on paper waste or manual data entry.

Imagine the future possibilities as camera and scanner technologies improve! No more remembering the name of that new product you saw advertised. Just hold up your phone to the QR Code and immediately your browser opens to the product website. Not only can you bookmark the site, but you can enter your zip code and find out where the nearest store location is or simply buy the product directly from your phone!

The QR code will become just one more tool in our 24/7, always on and connected world! Go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com and enter your URL to get your own free QR code and place it on anything! By the way, I did embed a secret message in the above QR Code. For those of you without a QR reader… you will just never know for sure.