QR Code, full form ‘Quick Response code’, is a two-dimensional (2D) barcode image, encoded with certain specific data. It can store a URL, a text, an image, a pdf, etc.
QR code comes in many shapes and sizes but usually, it is a small white square block containing small squares and dots in black color. Colorful QR Codes are also available which can be easily generated online using a QR Code Generator/Scanner website/app.
Note: You can also access this blog by scanning the QR code above!
QR code isn’t new; it was invented in 1994 by a Japanese Engineer Masahiro Hara while he was working with Denso Wave. It was invented to keep track of automotive parts and their movement inside the manufacturing unit.
How come we are seeing more QR Codes now than before?
QR Codes aren’t new. As a barcoding technology, QR Codes have been around since 1994 when Masahiro Hara invented QR Code. Mr. Hara, a Japanese engineer, was working at Denso Wave at the moment and Denso Wave had a contract with Toyota to manufacture auto parts. In the factory, keeping track of auto parts in the assembly line was an issue and Hara was put in charge to come up with a technology that made it easier to store information about parts for easy tracking. Of course, barcodes existed back then but barcodes have limited data-storing capabilities.
Hara was inspired by the popular board game ‘GO’ with black and white patterns and he came up with QR Code, a two-dimensional, matrix barcode.
QR Codes were quite a trend in the 2010s, not to the scale that it is today but people used it a lot. You could see QR Codes on walls, t-shirts, movie posters (Inception movie promotional team incorporated QR codes in their promotional strategy in 2010), etc. However, QR Code applications were limited by the technology of the day as internet availability was also limited and smartphone penetration was quite low.
The use of QR codes, more frequently now, is propelled by various technological advancements especially when in 2017 APPLE Inc. integrated QR code scanning with its iPhone mobiles running on iOS. Others followed suit and did the same with their mobile devices, tablets, and PCs. Upgrade to 4g internet is also a driving factor.
Applications of QR codes:
QR Codes have a wide range of applications in asset management, inventory control, and logistics, advertisement and marketing, etc. Since QR Codes can hold way more data than a UPC-12 barcode, it is easily customized and used for various purposes. While a barcode has limited data storing capacity, QR Codes can contain the entire Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address, so you get the idea.
At present, QR Codes have been quite prevalent. In India, a great percentage of people use QR Codes on a daily basis. You can easily find QR codes in Indian restaurants, flight tickets, museum tickets, grocery shops, and small stalls where you can scan a QR Code and digitally pay for a bottle of water. But that is not all, QR Codes are also now used in healthcare, and education departments as well. In libraries, dynamic QR Codes are used for keeping tabs on book borrower’s details and fines, etc.
Here are 10 uses of QR Codes for you to understand:
1. QR codes can be used for identification and granting access to employees and customers.
2. Retail businesses use QR codes for merchandise details.
3. QR codes are also used in marketing.
4. QR codes are used to create promotions and sale offers by many businesses.
5. QR codes are cost effective and easy to use thus making it easier for small businesses to adopt and automate their business.
6. Hospitals use QR codes to keep track of medical instruments vital medicines, and injections.
7. FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) comes with QR codes that contain product descriptions.
8. Many service-related businesses use QR codes to improve customer experience by creating a digital catalog and access to their services.
9. Schools and libraries use QR codes on books, PCs, and lab instruments to keep track of their usage and location.
10. Many digital payment services use QR codes to provide customers with their UPI (Unified Payment Interface) ID, and account details and felicitate easy payments.
Know more about QR Codes:
Q. Are QR codes and barcodes the same thing?
Unlike a barcode, a QR code is a two-dimensional barcode, meaning it contains more data (horizontally and vertically), while a barcode contains less data (horizontally only) usually product name, manufacturer’s name, and manufacturing date.
Q. Can you generate a QR Code for free?
Ans- Many QR code-generating websites can be used for this purpose. You can customize your QR Code with URLs, Text, Image, Google form, etc. It is very easy and a few clicks away.
Some websites/services also offer this at nominal charges.
Q. Do QR Codes work as RFIDs do?
Ans- No. QR Codes don’t use an IC (integrated circuit) chip, unlike RFID tags. That’s why QR Codes do not use RF waves although many RFID Readers are equipped to read QR codes.
Q. How to generate a QR CODE in a few quick steps:
Ans- Visit a QR code-generating website; select your data type which might be a text, an image, a URL, or a brochure. Enter the data and click generate. There you go. You can now download and print your QR code in physical form or share it digitally.
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- Last updated on Sep 08, 2023