What are QR Codes ?

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A QR Code is a simple two dimensional matrix type barcode that is readable by most modern mobile phones.  It can store anything from a website address, plain text, phone numbers, email address, messages, pictures or any other alphanumeric data.  Once scanned by your mobile phone the information contained in the QR code is immediately translated and acted upon,  weather it is to display a mobile website, add a calendar event or contact information, enter a competition or download a menu etc, the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination.

The QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) was originally designed for the automotive industry as an inventory management system for automotive components. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.

Invented in Japan by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, the QR Code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes.  It was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

Unlike the old barcode that was designed to be mechanically scanned by a narrow beam of light, the QR code is detected as a 2-dimensional digital image by a semiconductor image sensor and is then digitally analyzed by a programmed processor. The processor locates the three distinctive squares at the corners of the image, and normalizes image size, orientation, and angle of viewing, with the aid of a smaller square near the fourth corner. The small dots are then converted to binary numbers and validity checked with an error-correcting code.

Qr Codes look puzzling but once you scan them you find out just how useful they can be. You can access the encoded information instantly with any smartphone equipped with a QR code reader application.

Qr Codes are able to work on any smarthone (HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony or Apple) simply download a QR code reader from your app store if your phone doesn’t have one already pre-installed and discover the possibilities.