Code d’Urgence: France Develops QR Codes that Could Save Lives

A company in Le Mans, France (in the 72nd département, Sarthe) recently developed a QR code that could save lives, the Code D’Urgence. These QR codes securely store one’s medical history and emergency contact information so that in the case of an emergency, medical professionals have instant access to the information they need.

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Are QR Codes Already Being Replaced?

Since the QR code has shown up in the US, potential competitors and replacement technologies have also started to make their appearances. In the following post I’d like to talk about these new technologies and I hope you will take a moment to comment and let me know which one you think is going to be the next big thing!

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The Basics of Barcoding

Use your mobile device to scan this 2D barcode and read more about things you can do with 2D barcodes.

There are two main symbologies for barcoding, 1D and 2D barcodes. A 1D barcode encodes only a few dozen characters that correspond with a reference number in a company’s database, and is often limited in its usefulness. A 2D barcode, on the other hand, encodes significantly more so that the information can be stored within the barcode rather than within a database. These 2D barcodes can store up to 4000 alphanumeric characters such as an item’s serial number, lot information and time stamp.

In comparison, a 1D barcode only relates to a single item and obtaining information related to that particular item often requires scanning multiple barcodes whereas 2D barcodes can store all the information so that it can be accessed with a single scan.

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The Marketing Advantages of QR Codes

QR codes are everywhere, and we mean everywhere (they are even on  ketchup bottle labels when you go out to a restaurant and they are featured in artwork displayed in galleries).  Their presence is undeniable, but the real question is whether or not they are being put to good use.

The most popular way to use a QR code is to point it to a website. Just to throw our opinion out there — it’s just a tiny bit overdone.  Giving your QR code a more meaningful existence could mean more for your company in terms of ROI.

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