QR Codes Demystified

You’ve seen those squares with black-and-white boxy patterns in them and you’ve heard that they’re called QR Codes. You might wonder, what these things really are?

What is a QR Code?
Put simply, QR Code is like a barcode that is intended to be read by low-resolution camera-phones. QR Codes are similar to the regular one-dimensional barcode that you see in price stickers.  These 1D barcodes are primarily meant for high-speed laser-based readers and can only contain a very small amount of data (only a short number of about 10 digits or so).
Whereas QR Codes are to be decoded optically and can contain longer text.

What are the most obvious uses of QR Codes?
QR Codes are often used in display advertising as a way to link the artwork with a website. Typically the website contains more information about the product or service being offered. Some magazines or newspapers also embed QR Codes in their printed articles to link them with supplementary information in their website.

What features are needed for QR Code software?
Although there are many free applications that generate QR codes on the web, there have been requests to fill these needs that are not covered by those free QR code generators:

  • Create, manage, and track thousands of QR codes.
  • Generate QR Code in batches of hundreds of codes per batch.
  • Change the target URL of the QR Code after it have been printed.

Why QR Codes are not widely used in many developed countries?
QR Codes are used heavily in Japan and South Korea, both countries are known to have technology-enthusiastic populations.  Adoptions in other countries suffers to the chicken-and-egg problem — most people are not aware what it is and thus are not inclined to use it, hence publishers are doubtful in printing them. QR Codes also face competition from NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies that also offers contactless data exchanges but with less friction to the user.

We’re developing a QR Code marketing campaign application called QR Genie. Sign up to be a beta tester using the form below if you are interested.


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  • Hello,

    we believe that QR codes will make the connection between offline and online worlds easier. That’s why we created our QR code generator with social features – YouScan.me – http://www.youscan.me. You can add all your info like Facebook profile or fan page, twitter, youtube, etc. and connect with others.


  • Kav Nico

    Good article. Originally designed for industrial uses, QR codes have become common in consumer advertising. Typically, a smartphone is used as a QR code scanner, displaying the code and converting it to some useful form (such as a standard URL for a website, thereby obviating the need for a user to type it into a web browser).

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