The 2-dimensional world - the QR code

QR Code Story

The QR code (Quick Response Code) was developed in the mid-1990s by the Japanese manufacturer Denso Wave (then Nippondenso) in order to place more information on parts in its own automotive manufacturing division (Denso belongs to the Toyota Group).

QR codes can integrate much more content on the surface of a conventional 1D barcode, which is why they have been used more and more - for decades in Japan and now also in Europe - for advertising purposes and sales promotion. For example, it is possible to display more than 4,000 characters of text on an area of a few centimetres (this article has about half the characters...).

In this way, the user can be linked directly to a website by reading the code with, for example, a mobile phone camera. Or the code directly contains all relevant information of the product, the property, technical details or event information. The information can be stored in plain text or with encryption or even completely binary (images, sounds, data sets) in the QR code.

Other areas of application for QR codes are in the marking of very small components (e.g. through so-called direct marking), in the transport sector (illustration of the shipping route on parcel labels) or event management.

QR codes can be created like normal barcodes with barcode creation software (BarTender) and printed on paper, polyester and loops via label printers. Likewise, the QR code can be lasered, tapped (dot-peening) or sprayed (ink-jet) into hard material (metal, wood, plastic, etc.).

When reading in these special areas, care must be taken to select the correct reader, as 50% of the reading success with direct marking depends on the supply of an additional light source due to the low contrast. Readers must always be based on a camera system; conventional laser scanners cannot capture 2D codes.

If you would like to know more about QR codes, please contact us.