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How to use a QR code for your VR project

If you've opted for a VR Cardboard viewer for your marketing campaign you might be wondering how the final users can access to your VR content.

There is an option which is economic and easy to create, and specially very easy to use: a QR code.
You probably know by now what a QR code is, or you might have seen one, but if you don't know how to use it for your benefit, how to create it, or how to include it in your custom branded VR headset don't worry; in this article we'll explain the steps you have to follow to create your own code.

If your project or marketing campaing includes a virtual reality portion it's possible you've opted for one of these options:

  • 360° photos
  • 360° videos
  • Virtual tours
  • VR app
  • Interactive app

When you are using any of the options above you'll need to host the VR content you created on a site, it can be your own website, or a third party provider. One of the most popular and easy to use is YouTube. You'll simply need to upload your 360° video to the YouTube platform, and with the URL YouTube generates for you, you'll be able to create the code.

The reason why we say it's economic is because there are many tools online to generate your own QR code entirely for free. The only associated cost you'd have is to have the QR code printed somewhere for the user to scan.

For example, if you're opting for Maxbox VR's custom branded VR headsets, we always encourage our clients to print the QR code directly on the viewer. They can be placed strategically in an area where it doesn't interfere with your design, and there would be no additional cost related to it, as the print is already included.

When you're ready to create your own QR code you can follow the steps we detail below; we will show you 2 ways: the first if you're hosting content outside YouTube, the second is if you're hosting content inside YouTube.

We recommend these steps if you're using a service other than YouTube to host your content:
1) Enter http://www.qrstuff.com/
2) In step "1" select "Website URL"
3) Paste your link in the "Content" section
4) In the next column you can pick a colour, though we always recommend black on white to ensure the code is read properly.
5) On the last column click on "Download QR code", this will automatically download the QR code in .png format to your computer.
6)* Your QR code is now ready to use, please test it carefully with both Android and iOS.

If you have a YouTube channel with your content already uplodaded it's as easy as programming the code to direct the user to your channel so they can see your entire library of videos.

To use YouTube for VR, the content must be viewed in the YouTube mobile app, not via the mobile phone browser. One way to make sure the mobile app opens instead of the browser is by creating a Deeplink.
To create a Deeplink, follow these 7 simple steps:
1) Create an account with URL Genius: https://app.urlgeni.us/#/
2) Click on the 'Compose' tab button in the menu bar - this will take you to the Compose page
3) On the Compose page, make sure the text 'social' is clicked
4) Copy and paste your desired YouTube URL (the link to the VR/360 content you uploaded to YouTube) into the 'Enter URL' field
5) Once your YouTube link is pasted into the field, it will allow you to create your own custom suffix for the Deeplink. You can leave it as-is or, make it more relevant to you. Warning: It's best to make sure the suffix is entirely in lowercase as if you type the Deeplink in the browser manually, the browser must match both uppercase and lowercase letters for the link to work. The majority of users will type lowercase into their browsers if entering manually
6) Underneath the Deeplink, press the 'Compose' button
7)* That's it, the next page will show you your Deeplink URL and a QR code for your Deeplink. Please test your Deeplink by BOTH scanning the QR generated code and navigating to the URL in your browser, this should directly navigate you to the YouTube content you select or, give you the option to choose to open the mobile app. You will need to thoroughly test this link on Android and iPhone to make sure you're entirely happy.

Here's an example we created: https://urlgeni.us/youtube/maxboxvrtested
Navigate to this link via your mobile to see the results.

As you can see, creating a QR code is extremely easy, however below we are poingting out a few key factors you shouldn't ignore when creating your own:

  • Keep in mind it's extremely important that the final user should have a QR code scanner installed in their phone in order to scan the code you provide. Just in case, let them know before hand.
  • Keep it simple, try to avoid visual clutter to make sure the scan will be satisfactory.
  • Use a good call to action, you have to make sure the user wants to scan the QR code to check out your awesome content.
  • Don't make it to big or to small; there is a thing such as "the right size" in QR code lingo, the code shouldn't be smaller than 2,5 cm x 2,5 cm (1 in x 1 in), and preferrably not larger than 3,5 cm x 3,5 cm (1.4 in x 1.4 in). We found that between these values the size will be perfectly comfortable for the phone to scan.

Now that we've covered the basics we really look forward to hearing (or reading) your opinion. Tell us, were you able to create the code? Did the end users find it easy to access and scan?
Leave a comment below and tell us all about your experience with QR codes!

*Please note: URL genius and QR Stuff are 3rd party companies and unaffiliated with Maxbox VR, so they will be responsible for any Deeplinks and QR codes you create - we can bare no fault to the usage of 3rd party products or instructions given as they could change without our knowledge - if you have further questions after testing, please contact URL Genius, they're a very helpful team. Also, the phone will need to have the YouTube app installed beforehand (most do!).

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