Are there really condoms with QR codes?

Author's Note

In the years I've been writing for HowStuffWorks, I've had quite range of assignments. Some are highly technical and send me to a nearby university library for research. Others allow me to draw on life experiences as well as popular literature and websites.

None, however, has seemed as strange as this one – Are there really condoms with QR codes? I thought my assignment editor was playing a joke.

But a little time online showed me that yes, QR codes have even invaded the bedroom. And that savvy public relations professionals are figuring out all sorts of ways to tap into the latest technology and modes of communication in their efforts to reach young people. My online research led me to a phone conversation with a person who probably knows more than anyone else about condoms with QR codes, and he told me about the good intentions behind what at first seems a bit weird.

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  • Bangstyle. "Sweden creates QR-Code Condoms." (June 25, 2012)
  • Cook, John. "The Condom of the Future? Planned Parenthood Offers High-Tech Rubber with QR Code." GeekWire, Feb. 24, 2012. (June 23, 2012)
  • DyBuncio, Monica. "Condoms with QR codes enable smartphone check-ins." CBS News, March 1, 2012. (June 23, 2012)
  • Engebretson, Nathan. New Media Coordinator. Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest. Personal interview by telephone, June 26, 2012.
  • Engebretson, Nathan. "Where Did You Wear It?" Focus on Planned Parenthood. Winter 2012. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. (June 23, 2012)
  • Gann, Carrie. "Condom Codes Let Users 'Check In' to Safe Sex." ABC News, March 1, 2012. (June 25, 2012)
  • Kohran, Jeff. "How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business." Social Media Examiner. Feb. 7, 2011. (June 28, 2012)
  • Medical Xpress. "New app lets Swedes test sex with friends, fantasy figures." June 19, 2012 (June 28, 2012)
  • Planned Parenthood. "Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest Launches www.WhereDidYou to Promote Safe Sex. " (June 24, 2012)
  • Simply Zesty. "Sweden Promotes Innovative Safe Sex Through QR Codes & Love Making App." Dec. 9, 2011. (June 27, 2012)