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Messaging Apps Are Making QR Codes a Thing Again

They’re ugly to look at and unpleasant to use. QR codes (short for “quick response”), the square, scannable, black and white barcodes, proliferated with the rise of smartphone cameras as a way to bridge the physical and digital worlds. If you see one in the wild, just scan it with your smartphone camera, and your phone will load whatever information its creator wants to share. QR codes have cropped up on concert posters (scan to buy tickets!), magazines (scan to watch a video!), and tea bags (scan for nutritional info?).

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