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The Technology behind QR Codes

July 3 2023

In recent times, Quick Response (QR) codes have become increasingly common in our day to day lives. These one of a kind square patterns, composed of black modules on a white background, have changed the way in which we access information, make transactions, and interact with businesses. In this blog, we will look into the amazing technology behind QR codes, learn how they work, and dive into their remarkable potential and versatility. 

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Understanding the Basics:  

A QR code is essentially a two-dimensional barcode that can store a large amount of data but unlike traditional barcodes, QR codes are capable of storing various types of data, including text, URLs, contact information and much more. QR codes are read by scanning devices including smartphones or dedicated barcode scanners, which will interpret the code's patterns and extract the embedded data. 


The Encoding Process: 

The encoding process of QR codes involves several important components. In order to create a QR code, special algorithms will encode the data into a matrix of black and white modules. QR codes can hold a vast amount of data, ranging from a few alphanumeric characters to thousands of characters, depending on the type and version of the code. The encoding process also includes error correction capabilities, which enables the QR code to remain readable even if parts of it become damaged or obscured. 


Scanning and Decoding:  

Scanning a QR code involves capturing an image of the code using a camera-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet etc. Dedicated QR code scanning applications or built-in cameras can read the patterns in the code and extract the encoded information. Once the code has been scanned, the data is displayed on the screen or used to trigger specific actions, such as opening a website, displaying product information, initiating a payment, or adding contact details to a phone's address book etc. 

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Versatility and Applications:  

QR codes have received widespread notoriety due to their versatility and ease of use. They have become an integral part of various industries and applications. Some common examples include: 

  1. Marketing and Advertising: Using QR codes means businesses can bridge their offline and online worlds. They can be used on product packaging, promotional materials, billboards etc, giving customers access to additional information, promotional offers, or exclusive content by simply scanning the code. 
  1. Payments and Transactions: QR codes allow for quick and safe payment transactions. Popular payment methods use QR codes to initiate transactions, which allows customers to pay by scanning a code displayed at a checkout counter or on a screen. 
  1. Ticketing and Event Management: QR codes have completely revolutionised ticketing systems. Event organisers can create unique QR codes for each ticket, which makes it straightforward to validate and track attendees.  
  1. Contactless Menus and Information: In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, QR codes came to prominence in the hospitality industry. They allowed touchless access to menus, hotel information, and health and safety guidelines. All customers had to do was simply scan the code to access the desired information. 

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Future Innovations:  

As technology continues to advance, QR codes will more than likely become even more versatile and integrated in our lives. Such advancements include dynamic QR codes, allowing for real-time updating of the encoded data, and personalised QR codes containing unique information for users. Not only that, the integration of augmented reality (AR) and QR codes will open up exciting possibilities for interactive and immersive experiences. 



QR codes have and will continue to revolutionise the way we interact with information and engage with businesses. Their simplicity, versatility, and ease of use have transformed how we store and use data. 


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