QR Codes – great accessibility tool or challenging pair of letters in Scrabble?


I discovered QR codes just a few months ago. As I did research to find out more about them, one of the first articles I came across spoke about the fact that QR codes had basically run their course and their time had come and gone. Darn, another trend I had missed!?

Well, maybe not. QR codes did come about in 1994, so they have been around a while. They were created at the Toyota subsidiary, Denso-Wave for a very utilitarian purpose. The traditional barcode, used in manufacturing to track and inventory parts, had a limitation of storing only 20 digits. They needed a more robust method of storing data. Enter the Quick Response (QR) code, a two dimensional barcode that stores 7,089 characters (numbers, alphabetic, symbols, binary and/or control codes).

Popular throughout Asia for many years, QR codes are just now making a big splash in the US. Their primary value is in accessing information quickly and easily. You see them in ads, marketing pieces, shop windows, etc. All you need to access a QR code is a Smartphone or cell phone (with a camera) and barcode reader (easily available as an app if your phone’s not pre-equipped).

QR codes can take you to a web browser, download an MP3 file, or launch a video. Why should all this be of interest to SAS users?

SAS Publishing conducted our own QR survey at this year’s SAS Global Forum in Las Vegas. We wanted to know if customers had ever used a QR code and the type of information customers would expect to be taken to if you saw a QR code on the cover of a SAS Press title.

Although few of our customers had used QR codes before, many of you saw the value in being able to access sample code and data using a QR code on the book cover. Others of you were interested in a video from the author introducing the book. We appreciate everyone’s feedback and are now working through the details of using QR codes on our book covers. Be on the lookout for them!

Sometimes trends stick around longer than people expect – especially when they provide a good service.

Are you using QR codes? How could a QR code on a SAS Press book enhance your experience?


About Author

Sean Gargan

Director, SAS Publishing

Sean joined SAS in 1986 and has been in the publishing field for over 20 years. SAS Publishing links authors to the SAS community through publishing. Look for our books at support.sas.com/bookstore (or your favorite bookseller)!

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  1. Pingback: QR codes – part II - The SAS Bookshelf

  2. I agree, if used creatively, QR codes will stick around a bit longer.
    People require consequence when scanning QR codes. Whether they are looking for a coupon/discount, entering a sweepstakes/contest, or just searching for "more" information; there needs to be "something" of relevance at the end of every scan.

  3. Waynette Tubbs on

    Whenever I see a QR code in a magazine or newspaper, I am compelled to scan it. It is overwhelming to me that there is content inside that I can't see simply by reading the page in front of me. I like the mystery beneath. Your blog post revealing the history of the codes is great. thanks for the info. Good luck using the codes at SAS Publishing!
    Waynette Tubbs

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