Updated: May 13, 2021
QR (Quick Response) code is originally the trademark of a type of matrix barcode created in 1994 for the Japanese automotive industry. It has since been used in many contexts, for instance marketing and information sharing, but it is also a popular way for people to make mobile payments, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
How do QR codes work?
The patterns within QR codes represent binary codes that can be interpreted to reveal the code's data.
A QR reader can identify a standard QR code based on the three large squares outside the QR code. Once it has identified these three shapes, it knows that everything contained inside the square is a QR code.
The QR reader then analyzes the QR code by breaking the whole thing down to a grid. It looks at the individual grid squares and assigns each one a value based on whether it is black or white. It then groups grid squares to create larger patterns.
Ways to use QR code
l QR codes in sales and marketing
Many advertisers use QR codes in their campaigns because it provides a faster and more intuitive way to direct people to websites than by entering URLs manually.
They can also be used to link directly to product pages online. For instance, if you were searching for the exact dress a model was wearing in a poster, a QR code could directly take you to the web page where you could purchase it.
l QR codes for coronavirus tracing
The coronavirus pandemic has supercharged the use of QR codes. For example, in many countries, visitors to hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants are invited to scan a QR code upon arrival using the NHS Covid-19 tracing app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of the virus. If someone tests positive for Covid-19 at that venue, other visitors to the location are alerted by an app, thanks to the data accumulated from QR code scans.
l QR codes on product packaging
You may also find QR codes on the packaging for some of your favorite products. These QR codes can reveal information about the product, such as nutritional information or special offers you can use next time you make a purchase.
l QR codes in industry
QR codes were initially invented to help track parts in vehicle manufacturing, and they are still used throughout the manufacturing industry. You'll also find QR codes used by other businesses that need to keep a close eye on products and supplies, such as the construction, engineering, and retail industries.
For products tracking, Softzoo Inventory is a perfect app for you to save your time. Meanwhile, the cloud-based inventory management App helps you simplifies the process of Inbound, Outbound, Transfer, Inventory Counting and Query.
l QR codes in postal services
Postal services around the world also use them. Because they can contain a large amount of information, they are often relied upon to track parcels. For example, global fashion brand ASOS have moved entirely to QR codes for tracking refunds.
l QR codes in education
QR codes are also used in schools and colleges to help engage with students. They have appeared everywhere, from the classroom to the library, for tasks such as helping students find the books they are searching for.