What is QR Code?

A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a two-dimensional barcode initially designed for the automotive industry. Now a days, the QR code has become popular outside of the industry. Thanks to its fast readability and relatively large storage capacity. Typically, QR code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any type of digital data.

How does it work?

Data can be translated into a QR code by any QR generator app, many of which are available online for free like Generate QR Online. User’s simply enter the information such as plain text, URL address or any other kind of digital information to be translated and therefore the generator produces the code which then are often displayed digitally or in a printed format. The information stored can be decoded with a QR code scanner gadget or any smart devices with camera and that has a QR scanner application installed.

What are the common uses of QR?

Directing a user to a website is one of the most basic option for a QR code, in addition to that,

  • Sending a pre-formulated SMS or e-mail
  • Dial phone number
  • Download a web content.
  • Store contact information in the phone book (often via vCard)
  • Calling geo-data in a route planner.
  • Display products advise or information.
  • competitions, contests, tours, coupons etc.

How do I design my own QR code?

You can design QR code using QR Code generator software or websites like Generate QR Online (www.generateqronline.com). QR codes are not time limited in anyway and do not expire. And we offer this service as completely free of cost. You can generate as many as you need. There are not any limits on the number of times they can be scanned.

What are the advantages of using QR codes?

The QR Code offers the user as well as the advertiser several advantages:

  • Storage of many data in the smallest space.
  • Creation is also possible for everyone through free QR code generator tools.
  • Simple deployment
  • Eliminates cumbersome typing of URLs or other data into the smartphone's browser.
  • QR Scanner apps are also available at free of cost.
  • Quick response to advertisements with QR code.

What can be stored in a QR code?

A QR code is mainly used to store a web address. It can store many different types of information such as

  • Free format text content
  • Email address
  • Business Card
  • SMS
  • Phone No
  • Wi-Fi network login

How much data can a QR code store?

The amount of data that can be stored in the QR code symbol depends on the datatype (mode, or input character set), version, error correction level. etc. QR Codes are made from multiple rows and columns. Combination of these rows and columns forms a grid of modules (squares). There can be a maximum of 177 rows and 177 columns which suggest the utmost possible number of modules is 31,329. For the human eye these are just small squares and mean very little or no, but the precise arrangement of these modules allows the QR Code to encode its data. This means that unlike traditional barcodes which are one dimensional and use one row of lines, QR Codes use two dimensions which allows them to store a lot more data in the same area of space. The QR Code standards do not allow you to create a QR Code with just any combination of rows and columns. There are 40 preset sizes that you simply must select from. These are referred to as versions.

Version 1 QR Codes have 21 rows and 21 columns. Each succeeding version increases by 4 rows and 4 columns. The largest version is version 40 which has 177 rows and 177 columns and the total of 31,329 needed to encode the 3kb of digital information.

Structure of QR code

QR codes are two-dimensional and thus always have a square shape. The information is stored in so-called modules. The more modules a QR code contains, the larger size it is. In three corners of the code there are square position marks, which can be used to determine the precise placement of the code even in additional extensive graphics. In addition to the information, a QR code also contains synchronization data such as type of information and the QR code version number. A QR code can store a maximum of 7,089 numeric characters and a maximum of 4,296 alphanumeric characters.

In contrast, a standard EAN barcode can store just 13 numeric characters. The amount data a QR code can store depends up on the level of error correction level. The higher error correction level is selected, the more often the information is repeated. Hence the memory storage space available will get reduced.

What does a QR Code image contains?

  • Quiet zone: The empty white border is making it possible to determine the code among other printed information.
  • Finder patterns: The larger black and white squares placed in three of the corners. It differentiates the QR code from other types of barcode and make the orientation of the code clear.
  • Alignment pattern: Ensures the code are often deciphered even if the code is distorted.
  • Timing pattern: Makes it easy to determine the individual data cells within a QR code and is particularly useful when the code is damaged, broken, or distorted.
  • Version information: Identifies the specific version of the QR code.
  • Data cells: The information store in the QR code.

Why my QR Code looks 'busier'?

If a QR Code contains a lot of data, then you will generally see that it looks "busier" to the naked eye since it contains more modules and generally which are more tightly packed together.

What is Error Correction Level in QR Codes?

This compensates for dirt, damage, or fuzziness of the barcode. This suggests the QR Codes have error correction capability. They will restore the info if the code is dirty or damaged. Hence, a QR Code keeps functioning even when some part of it is broken, damaged, or may be obscured with a finger. There are four levels of error correction:

  • Level L: up to 7% error correction capability
  • Level M: up to 15% error correction capability
  • Level Q: up to 25% error correction capability
  • Level H: up to 30% error correction capability

Raising the 'Error Correction level' improves error correction capability but makes the QR Code dense.

Generate QR Online supports all these levels of error correction.

How to decide the suitable level of error correction?

Factors like operating environment and QR Code size are important determinants of error correction level.

In case of an environmental setup such as industries, where QR Code may get dirty, Level Q or H can be chosen. It will help to keep up the 'scannability' despite wear-and-tear for general marketing purposes, Level L and M are suitable High levels of error correction recommended if one decides to get a QR Code tattooed. This is because if the level of error correction is higher, greater the data modules and thus, greater the 'scannability'. Since QR Codes are easy to generate, use, and have diverse types, their popularity is soaring day by day.