How does Quick Response (QR) code technology work?

This resource will highlight Quick Response (QR) code and its technology. This new technology deals with getting, storing and processing coded data about any company, product details, coupons and related technology information. This article gives overview of QR code reading as well as generation of QR code with the help of QR code generator.

What is 'Quick Response (QR) code technology'?

Quick Response (QR) is not a graphical design or any creative work but it is a Graphical image with many coded information built in it. Quick Response (QR) code is a bunch of information like URL of product, website, and details of anything like a brochure of product. This information can only be retrieved when code is rightly scanned with an appropriate scanner.

QR code is a 2D representation of the bar code which is 1D coded information. 1D barcode store the information in thickened lines with appropriately spaced bar. Whereas Quick Response (QR) code is a two-dimensional storage image which stores the data in horizontal as well as vertically pattern. Quick Response (QR) code stores the information in many different patterns like square, rectangle, polygons, dots and other geometrical patterns. This means that Quick Response (QR) code stores more information than 1 D bar code.

Quick Response (QR) code even stores more digits as well as characters but barcode store only 20 digits. Quick Response (QR) code stores up to 7089 digits as well as 4296 characters. The concept of the Quick Response (QR) code was come up in 1994 in Japan to a car manufacturer company to identify and distinguish different parts of car during assembly of the car.

Barcode and QR code technology

Recently there are 40 versions of Quick Response (QR) codes are available. And each version of the symbol has a different configuration. As the version increase from 1 to 40, data contained in it increases as version increases. Version 1 is 21 by 21 matrixes as version increases 4 modules increases from the previous one. A module is nothing but black and white dots that make up code while the configuration of the module is a number of the module contained in a symbol. Each version has its coding capacity with respect to the storage of data in various ways. QR codes have many advantages like quick reading, higher storage capacity, and error corrections.

Quick Response (QR) Scanner

Quick Response (QR) Scanner also one step ahead compared to 1 D barcode scanner. Barcode scanner usually requires perpendicular placement of it over barcode image while Quick Response (QR) code scanner scans code at any angle at any distance from code and this is one of the added advantages of using Quick Response (QR) code to increase productivity.

In some conditions where Quick Response (QR) code if damaged in any case, error correction formula can even retrieve the information. Nowadays even Mobile Phones are equipped with applications that works as Quick Response (QR) code scanner and hence usability of Quick Response (QR) code is much larger than conventional 1 D barcode images. QR codes now available with many mobile devices with Android application based operating system.

Smart phone that works as QR Code scanner

What Quick Response (QR) code made up of?

Quick Response (QR) code is made up of finder pattern, timing pattern, alignment pattern, format information, coded data and the Quite Zone, which are key components/elements of a Quick Response code.

Each component has its own role. The function of each element is as under:
Finder pattern is a block with a central black square, with white and black alternate Square outside of it (concentric squares of alternate colors). There are such three blocks available in each corner except bottom right. This finder pattern tells the scanner/reader that image which is being decoded/scanned is QR code. Finder pattern does not contain any data.

Quick Response code technology

Orientation pattern which also does not contain any data but it tells the scanner the address for correcting the distortion of the QR code. The central coordinate of the alignment pattern is identified of the symbol and to detect it easily, a black isolated cell is placed in it.

Timing pattern or timelines which does not contain any useful data. The function of the timing pattern is to identify the central coordinate of each cell in the QR code and timing pattern is placed between two finder patterns.
Format information is positioning symbol and which enables the scanner to decode/scan the code at any orientation with high speed.

Encoded data is the main data which are required to be decoded by the scanner to retrieve the information contained in it. The QR code is encoded into binary language. The white border area outside the code is called the Quite Zone which separates the QR code from other labels on the product or any stuff nearer to it.

Applications of Quick Response (QR) code technology

Modern technology always replaces old ones. It is right said that QR codes now replaces 1 D barcode to have more advantage of higher and faster data handling, more storage, quick response, ease of scanning at any orientation and error corrections. Many applications areas where QR codes are used for:

  • Stationery items
  • Bus Pass system in Japan and China
  • Passenger management system
  • Process management system
  • Jewelry certification in China
  • Telecom Company
  • Payment slip management


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