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QR codes and how to use them

It seems as though QR codes are popping up everywhere these days. From cafes to restaurants and most check-in points at venues, these little maze-like barcodes have especially gained in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So what exactly are QR codes, and how do they work?

How do QR Codes work?

Short for Quick Response, QR codes look similar to actual barcodes but instead of vertical stripes, they are made up of square-shaped patterns. QR codes are capable of storing lots of information, which a user can access immediately when they scan it with a smartphone, such as an iPhone or Samsung. Businesses usually use them on advertisements so that their information is made readily accessible to people by a simple scan.

As we have now entered the golden age of QR codes, the latest release of smartphones come with built-in readers within the camera. For other phones, there are lots of apps available that can be used to read the code. These are free and available on Google Play for Android users and the App store for iPhone users.

When you scan a QR code, you will be directed to specific information that a business wants you to access, such as a particular offer, more information regarding the advertisement or a website.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, these QR codes have become particularly helpful in contact tracing. They have been adopted across Australia to help venues and customers comply with the COVID-safe rules by assisting in the collection of personal information.

How to COVID safe check-in with a QR code?

Scanning QR codes is very simple to do. If your smartphone does not have a built-in reader, you will need to download one on your phone. Before scanning, you will also need to make sure that you are connected to the internet.

To scan a QR code, the steps are as follows:

1. Open your camera or relevant app.

2. Point your camera at the QR code, leaving a gap of approximately 2cms.

3. Wait a little bit, and a notification will pop up on your smartphone.

4. Click on the notification, which will lead you to the website link.

5. Fill in your contact details.

6. Select ‘Check in’, and you’re all done!

What happens if I don’t have a smartphone?

If you don’t have a smartphone, there’s no need to worry! All you need to do is inform one of the staff members, and they will be able to record your details another way.

Embracing new technology such as QR codes may seem quite scary at first, but once you have taken the time to understand how it works, it can make your life much easier!

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