How Quick Response Barcodes Work



In 1994 the QR matrix code was created by the Denso-Wave company in Japan. The QR matrix code was an open standard. This means that there were no license fees for using it. Today QR codes and their physical encoding is handled under a few different standard bodies, these included headings like ISO and JIS. These are based the standards for encoding website URLs which was established by another Japanese company NTT docomo, a telecommunications company.

Here are the basics about how Quick Response barcodes work. QR codes have information contained using a vertical and horizontal axis. This style of barcoding lets a much greater amount of data to be embedded, this is all raw data. It can contain binary, numeric or alphanumeric data of up to 2953 stored bytes. Each QR barcode uses only part of it storage for actual data and information for error corrections. The majority of the barcode area is used for definition of the data format and version, along with information for timing, alignment and positioning. With more raw data being embedded, the barcode area itself becomes larger.

When looking at any QR code, the smallest pixels or dots are called a module. Around any graphic area, there should be an empty area that makes the barcode easy for devices to read accurately. This empty area is called the quiet area and should be 4 modules wide. This is typical of all types of barcodes and is considered to be the professional standards of practice for most companies. The minimum 32 × 32 mm or 1.25 × 1.25 inches sizing, excluding quiet area is recommended for QR codes that contain URL data. Again this may vary with the creation of different or larger amounts of raw data.

For example, the actual dimensions used by a QR code may vary depending on the devices being used to scan the codes. For proper QR reader accuracy, it is necessary to have adequate contrast between the white background and the black barcode color. This is extremely important, for if this is not correct the QR barcode will not be readable. If the background must be in color, be sure to use a solid color. Do not use screen tints and try not to use cyan or magenta colors. Yellow is a good choice if using a color background, anything that is in good contrast with the barcode color. Light Pantone colors can also be used.

A Quick Response barcode will not work if this is not done correctly. Keep these factors in mind when creating QR barcodes for business or individual usage. Once created correctly, QR barcodes can be used for a wide variety of things and can contain a very large amount of raw data. Most devices are set to the standards that all barcodes to work with them almost universally, but be sure that users are scanning with devices that meet accepted standards.