Since then, 2011 has brought about the use of 2D codes - square, black and white bar codes that can be used to store various bits of information. These fancy little codes were first introduced through BlackBerry Messenger, where users could add contacts by scanning the bar code of another user with the device's camera. This was essentially a mini-revolution for BlackBerry users - not having to ask for a PIN or even find your own was a great time saver, and made Messenger even more popular.
Now, the knowledge that these 2D codes have the ability to store all kinds of information - essentially anything a retailer or advertiser might want. Some of the ways that the codes have been used so far are:
- "Hello, My Name Is" tags - this allows new people to learn more about you, what you do, background information, and other general information
- Business Cards - a quick and easy way for people to download all your contact information simply by scanning a code with the camera on their phone
- Outdoor Billboards - consumers can walk up to an advertisement and scan a bar code which then takes them to the campaign page for the ad, rather than a company web page. This is particularly awesome for movie advertisements - readers can scan a code and be taken right to the movie trailer or the nearest theater to order tickets
- Websites - companies can add 2D codes to their "Contact Us" pages to allow visitors to dial in immediately, without having to search for information
- Webinars - adding a 2D code to online presentations can encourage audience involvement, e.g. small contest to test learning
- Social Media Sites (LinkedIn, Facebook) - position yourself as a tech-savvy professional, and make it easy for those searching you to find more information about you, or even download your resume
- T-Shirts - great for prizes and product giveaways
- In-store posters with coupons - instead of having customers find promotional coupons throughout a store when purchasing products, scanning a bar code right at the product can give instant rewards to be obtained at check out
- Dial a Phone Number - by using a 2D code to store a phone number, users can simply scan and dial right through to order a product or service
- Books, articles and eBooks - direct people to social media related to publications, such as websites for more information, related reads, blogs, forums etc.