Scanning QR codes is very simple and easy to do. But you definitely must have:
- A smart phone
- An application on your phone that is a QR code reader
- A QR code to scan
If you've never had a smart phone before, I would recommend getting an iPhone since it is very user friendly and simple to use. If you would like to have more options to customize your phone, look into getting a Droid since they have many more options than the iPhone.
Some phones come pre-loaded with a QR code scanner. If not, you can simply download one. Most of them are free, and the ones that cost money aren't any more than a couple of bucks. Here is a list of QR code readers. You can search by your phone model in the search box in the upper right hand corner of the site, or you can just look through the list of QR code readers which say underneath their name which phones they are compatible with.
An easier way is to just search QR code reader apps in your phone and just pick one to download. I think the free ones work just as well as the ones that cost money. I would advise just picking one that has high ratings. Usually the ones that are close to the top of your search will be the highest rated and most popularly downloaded ones.
Here's a list of QR code readers just for the iPhone: http://news.cnet.com/qr-code-readers-for-iphone . This page has (in the writer's opinion) the best for QR code reader apps for the iPhone.
- QR App
The writer analyzes each of the following and shows pictures of each app and discusses how each works. This can help you find the one that is best for you if you own an iPhone.
Android Barcode scanners: http://www.androidtapp.com/barcode-scanner/ . This link gives a review of the Barcode Scanner Android app. It shows you exactly how to use the app with a description and video.
Since most of these apps are free anyways, if you are really picky about the type of QR code reader you would like, download a few for free, try them out, and then delete all but the best one.
Here's one more extensive list that breaks down the apps by compatible phone, price, and usability: QR code readers for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7
So once you have the app of your choice, all you really need to do is open the app, and go to the scanning screen. Hold the phone in front of a QR code. You will see a red bar scanning. Mine will also highlight the four main squares of the QR code, and then it will automatically open the URL or whatever else the QR code contains. My app saves my recently viewed QR codes, so I can re-open them whenever I want. Scanning is very easy to do, so start scanning these codes everywhere you find them to find out what information they contain.