Those in the know, know about QR codes. Created in the mid-90s by a Japanese company called Denso Wave, QR codes are are two-dimensional bar codes that can contain any alphanumeric text and often feature URLs that direct users to sites where they can learn about an object or place (a practice known as “mobile tagging”).

The mesmerizing would-be Meru board-member on the right has a QR code that will take you to the Ruckus Wireless Web site.  

Here’s a good one-pager on “7 Things You Should Know About QR Codes.”

Decoding software on tools such as camera phones interprets the codes (here’s a free QR reader for the iPhone), which represent considerably more information than a one-dimensional code of similar size (QR codes can encode up to 2K bytes of data).

The codes are increasingly found in places such as product labels, billboards, and buildings, inviting passers-by to pull out their mobile phones and uncover the encoded information.Tracking information for products in industry, routing data on a mailing label, or contact information on a business card.

Small in size, QR code pattern can be hidden or integrated into an esthetically attractive image in newspapers, magazines, or clothing. Simple QR code generators are online to help people make these things.

Users with a camera phonesoftware can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone’s browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL.

Think about it. The combination of mobile phones equipped with a built-in phone, embedded Wi-Fi and a QR code reader (here’s another free code reader for Blackberries), pretty much eliminate the hassle for users to get where ever you want them to go on the Internet.

Mobile operators are extremely interested in solving the single signon issue. Single sign on is the idea where a user needs only log-in once to any service provider’s network. Once the users roams to another location or another network, they don’t need to login again because the network keeps track of who the users is and all their authentication credentials. There’s a ton more to it, but that’s the basic concept.

QR codes could come in REALLY handy for helping mobile operators and telecom companies that want to provide easy sign-on.

Mobile operators could leverage built-in smartphone QR-to-URL software and generate QR codes that automatically takes users to a pre-coded URL for login in or authentication – eliminating the hassle of having to give out URLs that are mistyped, etc.

More About: alphanumeric text, blackberries, camera phones, code generators, denso, dimensional code, internet mobile, iphone, japanese company, mailing label, mesmerizing, mid 90s, mobile operators, phone software, product labels, qr code reader, ruckus wireless, single signon, wireless web