A QR code is a matrix barcode that stores information. It is a two-dimensional barcode that encodes over 4,000 characters and can handle more data than an average barcode, plus they come in various sizes and formats. These codes can also store various pieces of identifying data, including alphanumeric data and some foreign symbols.
You will recognize a QR code by its distinct shape and appearance. The code is square and features a few black and white boxes or modules in a random pattern. You’ll also notice a few black boxes with white and black borders on a few corners. All these parts work together to store information and to help an imaging device read the code in seconds.
You can read QR codes in moments, as most smartphones have built-in QR code scanners in the camera or can utilize apps that read these codes. The box is easy to read and can work even if part of it is damaged. It is also easier to scan a QR code than a traditional barcode, as a device can read the QR code from any angle.
QR stands for “Quick Response.” The name comes from how it doesn’t take long for a scanner or app to read a QR code and access to the information that is held within the code.
QR codes were invented in 1994 in Japan by Denso Wave for use in the automotive industry, specifically for Toyota. The ability of the code to store a variety of characters and more data than a traditional barcode makes it a popular tool to track parts during manufacturing processes, as people still use it to track parts today. Each item can come with a unique code that contains all the details surrounding whatever part one uses.
QR codes quickly rose in popularity to sectors outside of the automotive industry, where people can use it for many other purposes. This is due to the fact that they can quickly be read, have greater storage capacity when compared to standard UPC barcodes, and have been utilized in a broader context within many sectors of business and industry.
Related: Check out our blog post on the history of QR code.
QR codes have become popular because of their versatility and ease of use. Here are some of the many ways how people can use QR codes today:
Related: Check out our blog post on the 14 QR code types.
A QR code works like a traditional barcode. You can scan the code to identify information that connects to the code. You can use a smartphone camera and a corresponding QR code reader app to read a QR code.
The code reader will review the unique black and white boxes that make up the code. Those spots represent unique pieces of data that link to that code. The reader will scan the code and translate the encoded data.
The specific pieces of data inside the QR code can include letters, numbers, or binary code. It can also feature Kanji characters utilized in Japanese writings.
You’ll find an assortment of quality features in a QR code:
A QR code is the sum of its many parts. Here are some of the things you’ll find in a QR code:
All these features will work together to produce a QR code that contains unique information. More importantly, these points ensure the QR code is easy to read and that it has enough room for all the things you wish to load or read at a time.
The amount of data you can store in a QR code will vary surrounding the input mode type you utilize. But the amount you can utilize here will be significantly greater than what you might get in a barcode.
The mode you use will determine how the code stores the data. The reader will identify the mode by reviewing the version information segment in the code.
Here’s a look at the four types of QR code input modes you can manage:
You can find both dynamic and static QR codes today. A static code is one where the data in that code is fixed. You cannot change the data or anything else in the code once you create it. But a dynamic code lets you update it as necessary, plus you can track how many times people scan it and when they scan the code and other factors.
QR codes can work in many sizes. You can produce a more massive QR code if you need to store more data. A code that handles more content will require more modules.
The smallest possible QR code has a 21×21 size (version 1). The measure says there are 21 modules in both the horizontal and vertical arrays. The most massive one is a 177×177 design (version 40) that can store up to 7,089 numeric characters.
The error correction method process is critical to ensuring the QR code stays functional. The code can be altered with a unique logo or other display feature, and it can still work if the proper error correction method works.
QR codes use the Reed-Solomon Method to identify data. It will decode a message by reviewing the positions and magnitudes of errors versus the rest of the data on the code. It will not correct these errors, but it will identify them and review the other features on the nearby code. The process improves how well you can read the content on the code.
But the Reed-Solomon Method will only be effective enough depending on its layout. You will have the check the specific error correction level on your QR code to see how much of your code can be obscured while still being capable of working. A code with an H level of coverage can have up to 30 percent of its code covered at a time, for example. Meanwhile, a Q-level code can have 25 percent of its code covered. An M-level code can work with 15 percent of the code obscured, while an L-level code will have up to 7 percent covered.
A QR code generator program or website can help you create a QR code. You can produce a code that can store whatever bits of data you wish to handle, including:
You’ll need to enter all the necessary information for producing your QR code. You may notice when adding data that the QR code can become more detailed after a while. You could even add a logo, a frame, or a creating design to your code if you wish. A code can even come in a different color besides black and white if you prefer.
After entering your data, you’ll need to test your code to ensure it works. You can then print out or distribute your code if it works well.
Related: Check out our blog post on how to create a QR code free.
QR codes are unique for being easier to read than barcodes. They can handle more data, plus they use unique layouts to help you find data as necessary. The best part is that it is easy for you to create distinct codes that contain everything you want to share with others. Check out our QR code generator to see how you can produce a distinct QR code. We can help you create a new code that includes all the things you need to add.
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