QR Code Explained

  • Developed in 1994 by Denso Wave (a Japanese subsidiary in the Toyota Group). The team was headed by Masahiro Hara.
  • Information is encoded in both vertical and horizontal direction.
  • It allows to encode over 7, 089 characters and readable by smartphones.
  • QR Code stands for “Quick Response”.


 When Japan hits its high economic growth in 1960s, markets selling wide range of commodities began to rise. Prices were keyed manually by checkout counters as required. For this reason, the cashiers were exhausted.

After the invention of barcodes, the issues were addressed and immediately solved . Subsequently, point of sale (POS) system was developed, hence, item attributes were automatically placed on the code. Simultaneously, items were scanned by sensor and information was delivered to a computer.

Barcodes were immediately appreciated and propagated, however, its capacity to store 20 alphanumeric characters became its limitation.

Masahiro Hara of Denso Wave was in-charged of the development of a better solution so that the problem of one (1) dimensional code be addressed . He then propounds the invention of 2D code. That the information could be stored vertically and horizontally and can hold up to 4000 alphanumeric characters.

Later In 1994, QR Code was released to the public and was utilized by automobile industries.

QR Code Evolution

Quick Response is commonly abbreviated as QR code; a 2-Dimensional Barcode that conveys different information. Link, plain text, SMS text message, addresses, URLs, geolocation, email, phone numbers and contact information are stored in the code.

The QR code technical specification was standardized in the ISO – 18004 so they are all the same around the globe.

The capability of QR code was rapidly disseminated and have been widely applied by automotive industry. Process optimization has found its way to mobile marketing with the broad adoption of smartphones.

Today, QR codes is gaining popularity because of its “open source” technology. Nowadays, it can be seen on flyers, posters, magazines and many more. Wherever you go, 2-D barcodes are around you and ready to interact with your smartphones.

QR Code Applications

 Aside from its application on automobile industry, it has been widely used in different business institutions and personal growth. Listed below are some usage of QR codes.

  • Direct a customer to the URL of your website for feedback.
  • Share a text message.
  • Use as business card.
  • Use to embed pricing of products as an alternative to traditional price tags.
  • It is being used on building permits.
  • On bus stops to scan real time information of the next bus, or train.
  • Part of personalized mail piece.
  • E-learning.
  • Part of interactive map.
  • Put on table and walls of restaurants as an easy way to provide WIFI passwords.

QR Code Structure

  1. Finder Pattern

It consists of three (3) identical structures located in all corners except at the bottom right corner. These identical structures enable the software scanner to recognize its correct orientation.

  1. Separators

It has a one-pixel wide and separates the Finder Pattern to actual encoded information.

  1. Timing Pattern

Alternate of black and white modules determine the width of a single module

  1. Alignment Pattern

It supports the software decoder for image distortions. As it grows in size, more alignments are added.

  1. Format Information

This section consists of 15 bits next to the separators and stores information about the error correction level of the QR code.

  1. Data

It is converted into a bit stream and then stored in 8-bit parts in the data section.

  1. Error Correction

Error correction codes are stored in 8-bit long codewords.

  1. Remainder Bits

This section consists of empty bits of data, and error bits can not be divided into 8-bit codewords without remainder.

Create QR Code     

To create your QR code, simply go to a website which generates QR codes. Then choose any type of code you want to create and enter necessary data. Afterwards, click on “Create QR Code” and your personal QR code is ready. Lastly, select in which image format you want to save the code and download the file.

Scan QR Code         

To scan your printed code to see if your personal QR code is working, first, you need to have a scanner app on your smartphone. Various applications can be found on playstore and Appstore. When installed, start the application and hover your smartphone camera over the code and scan it. To see if it is working, your entered data will be displayed automatically.


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  2. http://www.qrcode.com/en/history/
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  4. https://searchengineland.com/what-is-a-qr-code-and-why-do-you-need-one-27588
  5. https://www.qr-code-generator.com/qr-code-marketing/qr-codes-basics/
  6. https://www.qr-code-generator.com/qr-code-marketing/why-should-i-use-qr-codes/
  7. https://www.unitag.io/qrcode/what-is-a-qrcode
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  12. https://smallbiztrends.com/2015/05/what-is-a-qr-code.html
  13. https://www.takeflyte.com/flyte/2011/03/50-count-em-50-creative-uses-of-qr-codes.html
  14. https://techcrunch.com/2011/02/22/nyc-qr-codes-on-buildings/
  15. http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/01/qr-codes-are-extremely-popular-in-china.html






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