Have you noticed that short biography or achievement written on a tombstone? Not any longer. Now you will find the QR code beautifully inscribed. Yes, that is Quick response QR codes, the latest technology marvel slowly spreading the wings on book covers, musical album, and sports stadia seating.
The bar code was in the news for long. Then Toyota wanted a better tracking system for the manufacturing facility of their vehicles, slightly better than the conventional one-dimensional bar code system they were using. And thus, the QR Coding was born which is essentially a two-dimensional bar code system. And that was in the middle of nineties and the growth since then is nothing but exponential. The coding system which can be scanned found now everywhere- film ticket, real estate bidding, fruit pricing.
Denso Wave, one of the subsidiaries of Toyota still holds the patent for QR (Quick Response) code but has given open license world over. This technique also is known as Linux system of coding. One-dimensional bar codes are mechanically scanned. In other words, a narrow beam of light is physically allowed to bounce on to the code, which is possible to be interpreted by the light scattering principle. The pattern of light reflected off the white gaps between lines is taken as the reference.
The QR Codes can hold data manifold than that of its predecessor bar code. In the digital scan technology of QR code, the reading by a camera or an image sensor especially of a smartphone. This data is subsequently interpreted by the system processor. There are alignment controller of three large squares along with smaller normalizing squares to enable the photo scanning. There are areas with yellow color which act as the actual data being converted into binary codes. Then the error free image will be displayed on the screen of the devices- a smartphone or a tablet. The decoding shall be either in numeric, alphanumeric, binary, etc. The displays on other formats or encoding are also possible depending on the configuration.
The QR codes have gone through various development and transformation during the last two decades. As QR code technology evolved, it began to contain more and more information. From the primary and initial version was 21 x 21 pixels the recent graduating of QR code is having 177 pixels square, and it holds 1852 characters. That is equivalent to a mini book, brochure or a manual.
From the humble beginning in the automobile assembly line, existing QR code are extensively used in inventory tracking, to shipping and logistics, to online ticketing, video streaming, etc.. The trend of integrating Google Maps directions on a business card, automatically load a web page, and transmitted is gaining momentum. Even tourism sectors are using QR extensively to tell the guests what they can expect and explore.
However, there are negative comments on QR also by users. The growth of QR is stagnant may be 20 percent among smartphone users as per the survey conducted a few years back The advertisement media has utilized this emerging trend of QR code very efficiently. Besides super market stores, billboards, subway ads, posters, and magazines have to employ this low-cost media very successfully. But consumer behavior towards the tech savvy gadget is not that encouraging, even with the young generations. Essentially most of the QR use is for product scanning at home rather than outdoor activities.
The limitations besides the lack of patience are posing the hindrance to the growth of QR technology. A user needs a steady hand to scan the image with a smartphone. The interpretation software is the next requirement. Then comes the necessity for a reliable net connection 3G or WiFi to transfer the data. And the reluctance of customers in installing additional apps required for advertiser’s app is another problem especially on dwindling phone capacity.
The indirect ways of injecting malware and spyware by the advertise through the QR is another danger. Hackers find a gold mine in gathering user data and secret codes through the QR code. However in spite of the hurdles and risks, QR codes are gaining momentum. And new vistas never anticipated are being explored by innovative marketing wizards, not to mention of the hackers.