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Data shows QR code scanning skyrocketed in second half of 2010

While quick-response codes have been around for sometime, they only recently have begun to take off, thanks in large part to the growing pervasiveness of smartphones and social media.

QR codes are small print barcodes that can be placed on anything from movie posters and business cards to billboards and t-shirts, and can be scanned by smartphones in order to transfer the user to a website, email address, phone number or other data-encrypted location.

But particularly over the past several months, these small barcode devices have skyrocketed in use, strongly suggesting that QR codes are the future of marketing. According to research released Thursday by Mobio , QR code scanning jumped by 1,200 percent from July to December of last year.

"The QR barcode has become the gateway to information, data exchange and mobile commerce with the smartphone acting as the primary device for every consumer interaction," the report reads. "Browsing and buying merchandise through QR barcodes is happening like never before, and social media has further accelerated this phenomenon."

The report found a number of other interesting facts, such as how women account for 64 percent of all QR scans. Additionally, the most popular type of QR scan was information requests, comprising 87 percent of scans.

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