What are QR codes? And why are GOP IN Senators using them?

Indiana GOP Senators are using QR codes on mailers and signs to help connect the print world to the online world (Read the press release here).  

Get some mail from your state senator with an odd looking barcode on it?  Scan it with your phone, and you could automotically be directed to her or his web page on your phone's web browser without having to go through the troubleof typing in the URL on a tiny phone keyboard or starting up your computer.

Some background:

QR is an acronym for "quick response."  These QR codes are essentially square-shaped barcodes you can scan using your smartphone.  When you scan one of these codes, they can take you to a legislator's website, for example.

This is what a QR code looks like:

qrcode

You can even scan a QR code from your computer screen.  You can test the one above using your phone now.  It will take you to the CSG Twitter page (follow us!).

One more piece of information you need to know: "scanning" with your phone must be done with a scanning app, like RedLaser, which is available for iPhones or Android phones.  A scanning app usually has a "scan" button in it, which turns on the camera of your phone.  Scanning apps have made smart use of your camera, allowing it to scan QR codes and even regular barcodes. 

It's also very easy to make a QR code.  Kaywa has a code generator that you can easily use by clicking here.

Now you can easily read and generate QR codes.  It's a cool feature that is just now being used by state leaders.