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What is a QR code? Everything about QR codes

We all see dozens of different barcodes every day. QR codes are everywhere, from websites to advertisements and even your favorite food

You read in this article

  • But what exactly are QR codes? And what is the mechanism of its effect?
  • QR code history
  • The golden age of QR codes
  • How do QR codes work?
  • What are the components of a QR code?
  • What are the four versions of a QR code?

QR Code What is a QR code?

We all see dozens of different barcodes every day. QR codes are everywhere, from websites to advertisements and even your favorite food. These codes are similar to barcodes, but the difference is that instead of being made of vertical lines, they are made of small square shapes.
But what exactly are QR codes? And what is the mechanism of its effect?

QR codes are a clear example of pepper because they are straightforward and small; they can store information. But no matter how much data the QR codes contain when scanning them, the user can access the information stored in them immediately; that’s why they are called Quick Response.

QR code history

The first QR code was created in 1994 by a Japanese company called “Denso Wave,” a famous Toyota car company subsidiary. These codes were made because the company needed a way to track vehicles and parts being produced accurately, and to succeed, it sought to complete a new form of bar code that could store complex Japanese codes.

Types of barcodes

The types of barcodes are as follows.

Normal barcodes

Conventional barcodes have one way of reading, from top to bottom, which means they can store a small amount of data, usually in an alphabetic style.

2D barcode

In contrast, QR codes can be read in two directions (that’s why they are also called 2D barcodes), from top to bottom and from right to left, saving more data. It helps.

The team that developed QR codes wanted to make the code easy to read so that users don’t waste time trying to read it correctly, and they wanted to design it uniquely so that it would be easily recognized. All this led to the iconic square shape, which is still used today.

The first QR code, which took over a year to release, could store nearly 7,000 numbers plus complex Japanese characters and was read ten times faster than conventional barcodes.

When QR codes were developed, they quickly spread in the automotive industry. They were essential at the time, as many consumers in Japan demanded more transparency from large companies and wanted to know exactly where their products came from. Not just cars but foods, medicines, and other products. With this, QR codes gradually entered the field of construction.

Fortunately, Denso Wave made the QR code available to everyone. This means that everyone can create and use their QR codes. But the initial adoption of this idea was slow! QR codes were easily generated, but QR code readers and apps were not generally available to the public until the development of mobile phones in 2002 to read QR codes.

The first mobile phone with a built-in QR code reader appeared in Japan in 2002. This led to an increase in the number of companies using QR codes and the emergence and spread of QR codes that customers can easily use.

The development of this technology did not end there, and in 2004, the first “micro” QR code was created, and then in 2008, the iQR code appeared and was rectangular and not square as usual.

The Golden age of QR codes

As of 2021, Denso Wave is still developing the original design, and its QR codes have many built-in solutions, such as traceability, brand protection, and anti-counterfeit measures. There are also new uses for QR codes, from transferring money to locating objects.

How do QR codes work?


Bugs in QR codes represent binary codes that can be read and store data. A QR code reader can recognize a regular QR code by reading the three large squares on the QR code from the outside. Once you select these three shapes, the app knows that everything inside the box is a QR code.

The QR Reader then analyzes the QR code by dividing it into a precise grid, reads each square individually, and assigns a value to each square based on its color, black or white. Finally, the reader glues the courts of the grid together to create larger patterns.

What are the components of a QR code?

A typical QR code is readable based on six components:
quiet area

There is an empty white border around the QR code. A code reader without this area cannot determine what is in a QR code due to the interference of external elements.

Discovery mode

QR codes usually have three black boxes in the three corners: bottom left, top left, and top right. These three squares tell the code reader that he is in front of a QR code and where the outer border of the code is.

Alignment pattern

It’s another square, but it’s a little smaller, and it’s near the bottom right corner, and its job is to make sure that the QR code can be read even if it’s tilted or at an angle.

Timing mode

It is an L-shaped line between the three squares that make up the discovery pattern, and its function is to help the reader identify each square in the code and preserve the ability to read the QR code in case of damage.

Version information

A small field of information is located in the upper right corner of the recognition pattern screen, whose function is to determine which version of the QR code is being read.

History Boxes

The rest of the QR code collects the actual information, i.e., the link the code leads to, the phone number, or the message it contains.
What are the four versions of a QR code?

A QR code can be used for a variety of purposes, but as for its types, there are four common and accepted types. The version used determines how the heat is stored;  this mode is called “input mode”. It can be numeric, alphabetic, binary,  or kanji. The mode type is written in the QR code in the version information section.

Digital mode

This mode, which consists of numbers 0 to 9, is the most efficient st letters mode, with the ability to store up to 7089 numbers.

Alphabetic mode

This mode includes numbers 0 to 9 with uppercase letters A to Z as well as the following special symbols:

$, %, *, +, -, ., /,. This mode allows the storage of 4296 tokens.

Byte mode

This mode is for symbols of the ISO-8859-1 symbol set and allows storing up to 2953 symbols.

Kanji mode

This is a two-byte character set from the Shift JIS code set and is used to encode characters in the Japanese language.

Organized attachment mode

This mode encrypts data through multiple QR codes, allowing the simultaneous use and reading of 16 QR codes.

FNC1 mode

This mode allows the It to act as a GS1 barcode.

Can a QR code use multiple modes?

This is possible if each QR code contains the correct version information field.

I have frequently asked questions about QR codes.

Barcodes can only contain a string of information consisting of numbers, which makes them useful in environments such as retail stores because they are quick and accurate in identifying the product to which the code is assigned a number.

What are the benefits of QR codes?

Convenient payment with QR codes

QR codes are designed to work better than barcodes.

They can have more information than barcodes.

Barcodes can only contain a string of information consisting of numbers, which makes them useful in environments such as retail stores because they are quick and accurate in identifying the product to which the code is assigned a number. The downside is that this is all they can do!

A QR code can contain much more information of different types (such as words and symbols) in almost the same space as a barcode and is easy to create and print.

Less error

Have you ever bought an item, and when you pay for it, you are surprised that the barcode is wrong and the machine shows you a completely different thing?! It is scarce. If there is an error in the reading, it is most likely that the product is not original.


A barcode requires particular technologies to read and understand its content. In contrast, smartphones and digital cameras can easily read and understand a QR code, making it more useful for consumer-targeted marketing campaigns.

Easy to print

Like a barcode, a QR code should only be printed in black and white (although any color or multiple colors can be used).


Encoding the information within the information into QR codes is possible, providing more protection.


Most smartphones have a built-in QR code reader, and some newer phones on the market (such as the Google Pixel and flagship iPhones) even have a QR code reader built into the phone’s camera.

How to Use QR Codes

Some tablets (such as the Apple iPad) also have a QR code reader in their camera.

Some older devices may require a particular app to read QR codes, and these apps are widely available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

It is straightforward to read a QR code on the phone.

Open your smartphone’s QR code reader or camera app.

Naturally, you won’t have a problem taking the camera from any angle, and it reads the code without any issues.

The code data will immediately appear on the screen. For example: if a QR code contains personal contact information, that information will be downloaded to your phone in a few moments.

What information can a QR code have?

Barcodes and QR codes have the same function: storing data. This data can include links to websites, phone numbers, or text of up to 4,000 characters.

What sets QR codes apart is that they can provide a direct link to download an app from the Apple Store or Google Play, verify online accounts, or access a Wi-Fi network by storing data. Network encryption, such as name, password, and encryption type you use

Where can QR codes be found?

The original purpose of QR codes was to help track parts of vehicles during manufacture, and they are still used in manufacturing today. You can also use QR codes in other fields requiring the following products and goods, such as construction, engineering, and retail.

Another use for it is in postal services worldwide due to its ability to include large amounts of information (such as postal addresses), leading to increased reliance on it for tracking packages and shipments.

Recently, QR codes have entered the world of universities and colleges to help students interact, and you can find them almost everywhere, from classrooms to the library, where they are used to help students quickly and easily find Books are used.

The most common places you can find QR codes daily are in sales campaigns and marketing operations.

Many marketing companies prefer QR codes in their campaigns because they provide a faster and easier way for customers to access company websites and products.

They can also be used to direct customers to product pages on the Internet. For example, if you’re looking for a distinctive Turkish suit like the one you saw in the ad, the QR code accompanying the ad can direct you to a page that sells that suit, and you can buy it directly.

You can also find QR codes on the packaging of some of your favorite products, and these codes can show you information about the product, such as nutritional value, ingredients, and special offers you can buy with it.