Scan a QR code with a smartphone by downloading a QR code scanning app from the appropriate app store, then launching the program and entering the scanning mode. Place the phone's camera over the code and allow the app to read it and load the accompanying information.
Scanning a QR code involves aligning the camera of a smartphone over the code and allowing the scanner app to read and process the information in the code. The three black squares at the corners of the code allow the app to set the boundaries of the code, with the actual information appearing in the smaller squares throughout the center. The camera passes the digital footprint of the code to the phone's processor, which reads the data and displays the information it stores.
A QR code works in a similar fashion to a traditional bar code, wherein the arrangements of black and white squares translate into a set of data that a smartphone is able to interpret, though QR codes are able to hold significantly more data than a barcode. One of the most common uses for a QR code is to allow quick access to a website via scanning rather than typing in a specific URL. QR codes are also able to display alphanumeric date and Kanji characters in the Japanese alphabet.