Smartphone scan-able codes give consumers instant access to product information.
They look a lot like barcodes, and they're just about everywhere, on everything, and can get you instant access to information on just about any product out there, provided you have a smartphone.
They're called Quick Response, or QR, codes.
It's a specific barcode attached to an ad that when scanned by a smartphone camera, takes the consumer right to a specified website.
"The QR allows the consumer on the go to get information very quickly without having to go to your computer or dial into your smartphone in a sense," explains Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association.
Japan was the first to develop and use QR codes back in the late 90s.
Since then the idea has spread across Europe and now the United States, where they can now be found on business cards, product packaging and almost anything else.
Even real estate agents are posting them on yard signs and flyers.
"The little code goes directly to my website, and I have it programed so that photos of the house and inform of the house is readily available, it's instantaneous," says realtor Melissa Brown.
They're also an effective and quick way for advertisers to track the 'how, when and where' there's interest in their product.