QR Codes Find Way Onto Building Permits

January 12th, 2011

Once thought of as tools for product advertising or historic tours, quick response (QR) codes are now making their way onto building permits.

On Thursday, Jan. 6, Catawba County, N.C., began using the bar-code technology to help contractors and government workers access information on buildings.

What may at first glance look like a random assortment of pixilated shapes, QR codes are square images that can be found at tour sites, on cereal boxes, even toothpaste packaging. An increasing number of cities and counties — notably Manor, Texas — are using them to deliver government data and services, too.

A free smartphone app can read and interpret the code, and pull up the associated URL so users can browse the website connected to that code, according to the Catawba County Technology Department.