Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's a QR code?

A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is machine readable and designed to be read by smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, a URL, or other data.
Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. The QR code was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. (Source: Wikipedia)

Basically, a QR code is a sophisticated bar code. So what makes QR codes different than the typical bar codes you see on food products and other items?Typical bar codes are linear one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information.

In fact, it's their ability to hold significantly more information, as well as their user-friendliness which makes QR codes practical for individuals and businesses of all sizes.QR codes can be scanned and read by camera-equipped smartphones via software that's already installed on your phone, or with an application that you download such as Lynkee Reader or i-nigma Reader , which are compatible with a wide variety of modern smartphones including iPhone, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson, HTC, Motorola and Nokia. The readers/scanners give smartphone users the ability to read a QR code without special equipment.
For example, you could walk into a store, use your smartphone to scan an item that has a QR code on it, and have immediate access to the information.

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