Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What is QR Code ?

I was always wondering what does this code mean ! I've seen it recently in so many places, but I never  knew what is it all about ! Until I decided to do my research. The reason why I did this research is to let people understand and know what this code can do. It is nice to be involved in such a new technology that might help you in near/far future somehow. I am planning to make this as simple as it could be in order to be easy for everyone to understand. So here we go, we will start with a small definition of QR Code.

QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. [Source: Wikipedia]
Believe it or not, this code was designed back in 1994 by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, it is one of the two dimensional barcodes that was designed to allow its contents to be decoded very fast. It is all about having three big squares with other small dots that contains all of the information you have entered right there. But the real question is, will this QR Code be useful to be used by everyone ? Or is it really worthy to use this code as a company ? Let's discover this out.

The reason why this code can be more useful than a normal barcode, is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including URL links, GEO coordinates, and text. The other main feature of QR Codes is the easiness of reading this code by scanning them using your mobile. Many modern cell phones can scan them by using a specialized application. Such as "QRReader" application - its a free application for iPhone devices. You may download this application from iTunes using this link.
Like for example, the QR Code in the beginning of this post will direct you to my blog as it contains my URL address.

When do QR Codes work best ? And when you better avoid using them ?
For such a code I believe it works best in the below areas:

  • Galleries/Museums - where you can use your QR Code to explain the painting, or mention the history behind it.
  • In-store - where it would save a lot of time and paper works for staff as well as the managers.
  • Billboards - around town in settings where people are walking around.
  • Public transportation - where you guarantee that people would stop and see it or actually read it.
  • Shopping - I believe it would be very useful for shopping centers or shopping websites to use this code, where it would help people to know the full details they wish to know and would save plenty of time somehow.
But, in the same time, this QR Code can be such a bad idea in the below situations:
  • TV advertising. I don't think people might be able to turn their phones on and actually try to read this code.
  • Highway billboards. I mean with a common sense, who would scan a QR Code while driving his/her car in the highway !
  • Creative designs - it would definitely ruin the image of the design.

In my opinion, QR Codes should be used only in certain areas and not everywhere or by everybody. Not to mention that 60% of the population who are not using smart phones can never read this code. In the end, its all about strategy, knowing your customers and how to be reached !

If you wish to create your own QR Code, you may do it through this website.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this post.


  1. Wow i thought its a new type of barcodes but you surprised me when you said it was their since 1994 !

    I always called it QR Code and never know it stands for what and if I'm not wrong i think i saw it in 360 mall entrance as Advertisment,

    Thank you so much the valuable information Lulu, Keep it up.

  2. Hello 7aji,
    I am glad you like it, and I was surprised as well when I did my research.
    Well, I guess its a new technology for a new era. Hope people would know how to use it right :)
    Thank you for your comment.