Fist I was attracted with their appearance with their black and white squares, later I found out what they actually are – pixel codes, bar codes in two-dimensional form.
When bar codes became popular and universally recognized, the market began to search for codes capable of storing more information, more different character types, and that could be printed in smaller. Various efforts were made to increase the amount of information stored by bar codes. However, these improvements also caused problems such as enlarging the bar code area causing complications in reading and increasing printing cost. Two-dimensional cods are response to these needs, allowing information to be written in both the vertical and horizontal directions causes a considerably greater volume of information than a bar code.
On the market there are around 30 different two-dimensional codes. DataMatrix, Maxi Code, PDF417, Semacode, ShotCode are one of these codes that were developed in years. The most known-one and popular is QR Code, developed by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave and released in 1994. QR Codes were initially used for tracking parts in car industry, nowadays they are used in a much broader context.
QR Code is two-dimensional bar code that stands for Quick Response, as it allows its contents to be decoded at high speed. It can encode different types of data, such as alphabetic and numeric characters, Kanji and Kana, Hiragana, symbols, binary, and control codes. The code can manage up to 7,089 numeric characters or maximum 4,296 alphanumeric, it can hold up to 2,953 bytes of binary information and maximum 1,817 characters of Kanji, full with Kana.
Since QR Code carries information both horizontally and vertically, QR Code is capable of encoding the same amount of data in approximately one-tenth the space of a traditional bar code. They have error correction capability. Data can be restored even if the symbol is partially dirty or damaged. A maximum 30% of code words can be restored, depending on code’s level error correction.
We can define QR Code structure on “finder pattern” and “timing pattern”. “Finder pattern” is used to help detection a position of QR Code in decoder application. “Timing pattern” is used to help determine a symbol’s coordinate in decoder application. Yes, these three corners of the symbol allow QR Code 360 degree reading. In yellow color parts, encoded data (including error correct code) are stored. In cyan color parts, format information is.
There are no limits to creative QR Code use. Brands like H&M, Gucci, McDonald’s and others are using two-dimensional codes in communication with new generation users. McDonald’s is placing codes on hamburgers so that eaters can scan the package with their mobile phones and find out the nutritional information about the food they are eating. Customers are able to view the amount of calories in their meal, as well as the amount of sodium, fat, protein and carbs.
The Miami Ad School in USA had created a campaign for company H&M. The campaign’s billboards and magazine prints contained a semacode, one of these two-dimensional codes. With this high-tech technology they tried to use sale opportunity in new way. Bystanders could scan the ad, the code, with their mobile phones. The Code contained web link that took them directly to the H&M page where they could easy choose the color and the size of the clothing on the ad, place the order and the cost was directly deducted from the purchaser’s mobile account.