QR Codes And WordPress

Last modified on October 12th, 2008

I posted an article about QR Codes a few months ago. QR Codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can contain a great deal of information in a relatively small area. They are heavily used in Japan, and are slowly starting to gain traction in other parts of the world.

One of the best uses of QR codes in my mind involves the inclusion of QR code hyperlinks in printed media. That way a user could be reading a poster or a paper version of an article and still be able to navigate hyperlinks using their phone. Typically this is accomplished using a QR code reader on a cellular phone, which causes the phone’s browser to be launched and directed to the appropriate hyperlink. For example, you could see a poster on a telephone pole for a band performance in your area, and the QR code would launch a browser so that you could purchase a ticket or read more information.

I’ve been waiting for the right time to do some work with WordPress in this area. Since a few QR code readers are slowly starting to pop up in the iPhone application store, I thought now might be a good time to start tinkering.

So I’ve basically started work on a plugin that will add QR codes to content in WordPress automatically, at least for printed versions. I still have lots of corner cases and use cases to figure out, but I’ve made a bit of progress. If you want to take a look, feel free to try printing a version of this page and see the difference (that is, go into your File menu and click “Print” — you’ll see a different version). Of, you can check out the PDF version of this page.

Not only is the permalink for the page encoded as a QR code, but also any hyperlinks within the content as well. So in theory someone could print out an article from my blog, slap it onto the fridge at work, and people could navigate around the content using a QR code reader on their phone.

If you have an iPhone, you can download NeoReader via the Application Store to test out the QR codes on my site. If you know of any other QR code readers, please let me know.

4 responses to “QR Codes And WordPress”

  1. I installed iDecode and Barcode on my iPhone, but never really got a chance to try them out. I’ve now added NeoReader as well – so hopefully I’ll actually get a chance to try them out.

  2. I just tried out NeoReader. I find it a bit strange they ask for your demographic information in the settings, but whatever. Obviously it successfully decoded all three QR codes on this page, and I like that it automatically launches Safari and takes you to the link in question.

    I also tried out Barcode and it successfully decoded all three of the QR codes on this page as well (although one of them took two tries). With Barcode, it doesn’t automatically launch Safari and take you to the page, but it does give you that option, along with a few other ones (send email to, call number, and send via email). It also allows you to save your results, but the funny thing is that it doesn’t appear you can do anything with those results aside from looking at them (and only part of them – the part that fits on the screen since it doesn’t seem to allow you to scroll to see the rest). Once nice thing about Barcode is that it’ll let you select a picture from your camera roll to decode, in case you took a picture of a QR code to look up later when you had more time I guess.

    I’ve yet to get iDecode to work at all.

  3. Duane Storey says:

    Cool. Yah, NeoReader works pretty well for me. I’ve disabled the plugin for now as I have to do a bit more work on it, but I’ll work on it more when I’m back in town.

  4. Ben Blaukopf says:

    Airsource just released a new QR Code scanner for iPhone, called Optiscan. We’ve put a lot of work into it, including some image processing improvements, meaning that it’s significantly faster – and more accurate – than the competition. Most importantly, it captures the QR code automatically – you don’t have to hit the “Take Picture” button.

    Our announcement is here:

    And it’s available on the App Store here;

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