QR codes on an HSN TV show lead consumers to the retailer’s m-commerce site.

2-D bar codes, particularly the Quick Response (QR) variety, are popping up everywhere—in magazines, in catalogs, on product packages, on store signs and even on the sides of buildings. Now they’re on live TV.

TV and online retailer HSN Inc. today is debuting QR codes onscreen on its HSN HD channel as part of its Innovation Weekend event today through Sunday. A viewer with a smartphone can download any one of numerous free QR code reader apps from an app store. She opens the app, points the smartphone camera at the QR code on the screen, and the app automatically links her to the m-commerce site page for the product currently being featured. There she can read more about the product and purchase it.

HSN HD reaches approximately 43 million households, says the merchant, No. 58 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300. Innovation Weekend will feature hundreds of products, each with its own QR code.

“Innovation is an integral part of our company, whether it’s the innovative products we present or the groundbreaking ways we use on-air QR codes to engage and interact with our customers,” says Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce at HSN. Braff is the keynote speaker at the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Forum, Oct. 10-12 in Houston.

Major manufacturers such as Honeywell, Microsoft Corp., Samsung and Sony will be unveiling new products as part of the Innovation Weekend. Honeywell, for instance, will debut a 24-inch HD LCD TV with built-in DVD player. Samsung will be launching its Dart Android smartphone.


HSN offers a mobile commerce site and mobile app. App users can view live streaming video of the TV channel on their smartphones.