Wikipedia has launched a publicly accessible QR code generator that lets people with smartphones quickly access a Wikipedia article.

QR (Quick Response) codes are square, barcode-like images that allow the transmission of information -- frequently a website address -- to a device equipped for scanning them. Typically they are scanned by smartphones running an app that makes use of a handset's integrated camera.

Wikipedia's QRPedia site lets users input the URL of a Wikipedia article and generate a QR code. When the QR code is scanned by a smartphone, the user will be taken to a version of the article on one of the Wikipedia sites; which one will depend on the phone's language settings.

QRPedia, which launched in April, was developed in collaboration with the Derby Museum and Gallery in the UK. According to the Wikimedia Foundation, QRPedia is being used by the National Archives of the UK and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.