European smartphone users are scanning QR codes like nobody's business, with new figures revealing a 96 per cent increase compared with a year ago.

A report from comScore said 17.4 million users in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK scanned a code in the three months leading up to June 2012.

The Germans led the way with 18.6 per cent of users embracing the scannable barcodes, which often lead to restaurant menus, travel information, company websites, concert ticket sites and other special offers.

Spain was next in line, while UK users are lagging behind with only 11.4 per cent of smartphone users engaging with the codes.

Popular uses

The most popular use for the QR codes, according to the comScore report, is to find further information about a certain product. 71 per cent of scans, across Europe, were for this purpose.

31.8 per cent of people scanned to find event information, while 19.4 per cent of users were seeking special offers and 13.4 per cent of users were using the codes to download apps.

Are you a frequenter of the strange-looking square barcodes? Let us know your favourite uses in the comments section below.

Via comScore, phys.org