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QR, QR, everywhere a QR

n case you were wondering whether anyone pays attention to those funny-looking, digitized inkblots displayed on signs, brochures, even T-shirts with their mobile phones, comScore has a definitive answer. Yes, yes, 14 million times yes!

Based on comScore’s latest research, in June, 14,452,000 mobile phone users, representing 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience in the United States, took a picture of a quick response code. While QR codes aren’t new at all — they have been around since the 1990s helping to speed manufacturing and distribution processes — their role as a gateway to marketing content still seems fresh.

Free, online applications like QR Code Generator make it extremely simple for advertisers and marketers to create QR codes that offer immediate access to text, directions, contact information, URLs and other content as soon as someone takes their picture (scanned is the term). All a smartphone user needs is a simple application like Optiscan to read them.

While it’s impossible to know when QR codes will be replaced by something else, the reason for their popularity is more instructive than the actual nuts and bolts of the technology. What’s clear is that people want to have simple, convenient access to information that’s relevant to them without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.