What is a QR Code?
Before answering the question about how QR codes work, it is important to first understand what a QR code is. In 1994, a Japanese corporation unveiled the Quick Response technology. It has since become one of the most popular two dimensional barcode available and is believed to be faster than the common one found in the United States. Studies have shown that QR code allow for the information enclosed in them to be downloaded significantly faster.
At first, they appeared mostly in automobile parts to track them. However, since then, they have spread out and are popping up in different places. There has been a significant increase in QR code when dealing with commercial uses. Enclosed in the QR code could be a URL and when it is scanned, the user will know to visit that website. For example, McDonalds could post all of their nutritional value on a website and when someone scans the QR code on the side of the Big-Mac box, they are taken to that website.
How Does QR Code Work?
QR code requires a scanner. If you have a smart phone with a camera on it–the phone needs to be able to download and utilize a scanner application–then you have the scanner necessary to scan all QR code. What the phone does is take a picture of the QR code and then convert it into text format. The application interprets the code and then displays any links, text and images that the creator wanted you to see.
To make a QR code go from code to text, the first thing you need to do is install the application. The Google Android operating system comes with a barcode reader built into it. Nokia's Symbian operating system does as well. If your phone doesn't have one, find out which your phone supports and then install it to the phone. You can't read QR code without it.
Once you've done that, take a picture of the QR code. Depending on the size of the code determines how far away you can be. The larger the code, the farther away you can be. There have been reports that you can stand a mile away from a QR code–if it is large enough–and take a picture to allow the phone to process it.
Once you've taken the picture, enable the application and it will process it. Once the processing is done, you'll be able to see exactly what is on the QR code. Depending on the type of QR code, though, determines how many characters you can fit.
|Type||Number of Characters|
|Numeric Only||Max. 7,089 characters|
|Alphanumeric||Max. 4,296 characters|
|Binary (8 bits)||Max. 2,953 bytes|
|Kanji/Kana||Max. 1,817 characters|