Monday, April 11, 2011

Quick Response Codes - A Subway between the Print Media and an Electronic Media

You might have seen some jigsaw picture built with black and white combination while surfing an internet... on some products... on hoardings... on business cards etc. and might have wondered what this is??
When I saw these images for the first time I thought they are something like placeholders for missing pictures. But then I understood these are something more than placeholders.

They are QR code abbreviated for Quick Response also known as hard links or physical world hyperlinks.

We are very well familiar with barcodes. We could find them on almost every product. They are famous for their quick readability, quick conversion.

QR code has the same concept like bar code. QR codes were built with the aim of storing some important and quick information in a small code by Denoso Wave, subsidiary of Toyota, Japan, in 1994.     

Unlike barcodes, QR codes are 2-dimensional codes. Meaning QR codes can store information vertically and horizontally whereas barcodes store information only horizontally. This makes QR code more useful and more efficient.
Bar code can store information only horizontally.
QR codes can store information Vertically and Horizontally both.

Bar codes can only store small amounts of information—a byte or so. But being 2D, QR codes can store a lot more— up to 2 KB of data under the current ISO standards.

What can you store in them?
You can store website url, contact info, some critical info, company logo, can put QR code on dinner plates embedding menu in it! , can gift coffee mug with QR code on it…  etc.

How to decode them?
Any smart phone with camera having proper QR decoder application can decode this code.  
Many smart phones does have built in QR code decoder applications.
Take a picture of the code and your application will decode this code.

For e.g. if you take picture of the above show image you’ll get redirected to

How to generate QR code?
You could find many online QR code generators. Just add your text and click generate!

Some of them are:
Print media is the one long living and widely spread media across the globe, and QR code is like a subway between print media and the electronic world. So it is an easy way to connect with an user.