Are QR Codes the Next Big Thing?

qrcode.jpgiMedia Connection is asking if QR (quick response) codes are the next big thing in mobile marketing.

Here’s the back-story: Denso-Wave, a Japanese corporation, developed them back in 1994. But now they’re starting to turn up everywhere in Japan. They work like bar codes, except that they’re square shaped and look like television static.

Meanwhile, Japanese cell carrier NTT Docomo started to embed QR code recognition in their “i-Mode” brand of cellphones. Using these phones, Japanese cellphone subscribers can take a picture of a QR code on anything, such as a burger wrapper, a bottle of shampoo, or a billboard. The phone will figure out what it is, and from there, it can do a number of things–display more information about a product, give you a coupon to use, show you the nearest store relative to where you’re standing that carries it, and so on.

Microsoft thinks this is so cool that they’re developing their own, full-color version called High Capacity Color Barcodes, according to tech blog Engadget. Microsoft’s version doesn’t work on anything besides DVDs yet, though.

Thanks, Dorian, for sending this in.

The Next Big Thing in Mobile: Video or QR Codes? [iMedia Connection]