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Those 'QR code thingys' are cool

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

Late last year, the Herald began experimenting with a technology that has been emerging in the newspaper business for years.

Quick Response, or "QR," codes look kind of like bar codes, only they're square and don't use lines and spaces, but a series of odd-looking ink-blot patterns.

And when you download one of a million free QR code reader apps on your smart phone and scan the codes you see in the paper, you'll be "magically" transported to content you can't get in the paper alone.

Maybe it will be a photo gallery. Maybe it will be video on our website. Maybe it will take you to the Squawk of the Day, where you can leave a comment for a fully interactive process.

While relatively new here, QR codes have been around in Asia for decades. And with technology in smart phones rapidly advancing, the environment is perfect to use one to get your local news content in your hand when you're on the go.

Some, like myself, are even adding them to our email signatures, so that once scanned, you automatically have my contact information stored in your cell contacts.

In the end, the point is not to fear the QR code. They're actually a cool way that we are using to try to bring more content to you -- and bring it to you in a mobile way.

So when you see "one of those QR code thingys," scan it and see where it takes you.

You'll be glad you did.

Email J.D. Sumner at j.d.sumner@albanyherald.com.