Today, through Zite app on my iPad, I learned about QR Voice from Marcel Duran that allows QR codes to be translated into an audio recording. Here’s how it works:

QR voice encodes a given text message into QR code that once scanned by a QR scanner smartphone application reproduces the message with a synthesized voice.

Currently, the message is limited to 100 characters or less, but I’m betting that will be extended to at least Twitter-speed (i.e., 140 characters). The FAQ page recommends the following iOS apps for QR code readers.

For iPhone, free tested apps

I’ve been playing with a QR code for use with early childhood learners, such as preschool or kindergarten learners, where they can’t read yet. I had been recording some audio with the web app iPadio, but its playing on iOS devices has been inconsistent since it relies on Adobe Flash. So, here’s a code I made using QR Voice that played just fine inside my current QR code reader of choice Qrafter from my iPad. See if it works for you. I did still have to press “Go to URL” on the app in order for it to “read” the QR code aloud. I’m interested in hearing how yours might work, though.

I really like the potential for this kind of application. This could be really good for early childhood with students to have some elements read aloud to them. It could also be a good tool for visually impaired students in combination with other types of tools. The novelty for teachers and students certainly can’t be denied either. Now, having the QR code results read to you is pretty cool. Some other fun, novel ideas the FAQ page suggests are:

  • Leave voice messages in holidays/greetings cards
  • Attach printed qr-voices next to sculptures/arts describing what it is, useful for accessibility
  • Send funny messages through e-mail by inserting the generated qr-code as image attachment

Here’s a slide with a QR code that I often use to demonstrate self-checking for students. Students can calculate the division then scan the QR code to see if they got the right answer.

I’m piggy-backing on this same idea with this QR code below. The answer now gets read to you. How awesome is that?

If you try this out with your Android phone or Blackberry or other apps, please let me know what works for you and what didn’t. I’m really interested in finding out which QR code readers are working for folks and which ones are problematic. Also, if you try out this technique with students, let me know how it goes, too.


My colleague Kyle Pace mentioned to me on Twitter that because you can change the language on this through Google Translate, he had mentioned this tool to a number of foreign language teachers.  That’s another great idea.

About Michael M Grant

Dr. Michael M. Grant is a passionate professor, researcher, and consultant. He works with faculty members, schools and universities, and districts to integrate technology meaningfully and improve teaching and learning. When 140 characters just won't work, then he blogs here at He has a beautiful wife and three equally beautiful daughters, who will change the world.

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