The huge popularity of bar codes in Japan has led to the fact that the amount of information encoded in it soon became insufficient. The Japanese began to experiment with new ways of encoding small amounts of information in a graphic image.
Unlike the old barcode, which was scanned with a thin beam, QR Code is defined by the sensor as a two-dimensional image. Three square at the corners of the image and smaller squares around the clock code permit to normalize the size and orientation of the image and the angle of the sensor in relate to the image surface. The points are translated into binary numbers with verification by checksum.
The main advantage of QR Code is an easy readability to for scanning devices (including mobile phone camera), which allows to use it in the trade, manufacturing, and logistics.
The maximum number of characters that a QR-Code can contain:
- characters- 7089;
- characters and symbols – 4296;
- binary code – 2953 bytes;
- hieroglyphics – 1817.
Although the term «QR code» is a registered trademark of the DENSO Corporation, the use of the barcode is not subject to any license fees,and is described and published under ISO standards.
The specification of QR code does not describe the data format. The most popular QR codes viewers support the following data formats: URL, bookmarks, Email (with the subject line), SMS, meCard, vCard, and geographic coordinate system. In addition, some programs may not recognize GIF, JPG, PNG, or MID files with a size less than 4k and the encrypted text, but these formats have not received popularity.
QR Codes are the most common in Japan, a country where the bar codes had so much popularity that the amount of information encoded in the code, soon ceased to suit the industry. At the beginning of 2000 QR codes were so widespread in Japan that they can be found on a large number of posters, packages, and goods.
Leading Japanese mobile operators marketed jointly under their own brand mobile phones with built-in support for QR code recognition.
Currently being widely distributed in Asia (especially in Japan), QR code is gradually accepted in Europe and North America. According to the study conducted by comScore in 2011, 20 million people in the U.S. used mobile phones to scan the QR codes. In addition to that, in Japan and Austria QR codes are also used by cemeteries and contain information about the deceased.
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