What is a QR Code?

A QR Code® (abbreviation for quick response code) is a trademark for a two-dimensional barcode, that can storage digital information. Although it was designed for the automotive industry, it has become popular for it’s fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard 1D barcodes.
Encoded information can be:

– plain text
– Phone number
– Website URL
– Contact information in VCard and MeCard Format
– Calender Events
– Social network links (facebook-likes, twitter-follows)


Error correction level
While creating a QR Code its restoring quality is customizable in 4 correction levels. This means, if parts of the code gets destroyed physically, the code is still readable. The other encoded format information is the mask pattern used for the symbol.
Level Percent of approximately destruction that still results in an readable code
L 7
M 15
Q 25
H 30

Due to it’s different error correction levels it is possible to enhance QR Codes® with artistic embellishment but still remain readable. These are called Design QR Codes® or Custom QR Codes®.

Storage Amount
Depending on the datatype(mode), version(1..40, indicating overall dimension of the symbol), and the error correction level the following capacities are possible(version:40, error correction level:L):
mode Storage capacity
Numeric only max. 7 089 characters [0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]
Alphanumeric max. 4 296 characters [0–9,A–Z(upper-case only),space,$,%,*,+,-,.,/,:]
Binary max. 2 953 characters [8-bit bytes]
Kanji/Kana max. 1 817 characters
There are lots of QR Code reader available. Most smartphones include a encoding app, that allows the integrated camera to read the code. There is some variation between implementations at the application layer. A de facto standards for the encoding of URLs, contact information, and other data types was established by NTT DoCoMo.

QR Code was invented by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994. It’s using is free of any license. The QR Code® is defined and published as an ISO standard:
(Obtaining the full QR Code® Specification by DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED)

(QR Code is registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED)

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