How QR Codes Work

 In Education

How QR Codes Work Explained

Even if you’re not familiar with how they work, you’ve probably seen QR codes on advertisements, websites and in other places. The basic design of these codes is a square box with pixels scattered throughout it. These codes work in a similar fashion to a barcode, though they can hold a great deal more data than a regular bar code can hold. They’ve been in use for quite a while and were first used heavily in the automotive industry. The way they work is really quite simple.

The QR Code

The code provides a way to store digital data. The format of these codes is quite forgiving, which is why you’ll sometimes see them stylized with graphic designs in the middle of them or see them incorporated into pictures in creative and clever ways. A device that can scan these codes can correct for errors, which means that you can use different colors, complicated images within the code and other features to give it a bit more visual appeal. This is one of the ways that QR codes differ significantly from barcodes. Barcodes are not as forgiving as far as errors go.

Scanning the QR Code

The second major thing you need to understand as far as how QR codes work is how they are scanned. A QR code can be scanned by many different devices, including smart phones. Smartphones have applications available for them that allow them to scan the QR code directly or to take a picture of the QR code and scan the image itself. The scanners are easy to use and many of them are actually free. Scanning a QR code is no more difficult than pointing the camera’s phone at the code that you want to scan and selecting the scan button in the application that you’re using.

Functionality of the QR Code

QR codes can be set up to provide many different types of functionality. They can automatically open forms, send a person to a URL or simply give the person text information. Essentially, what they are is an image that serves as a viable data storage medium, which means that just about any digital information you can conceive of can be stored in one of these codes. They do have their limitations in terms of how much data they can store, however, so they are typically used for simple things, such as giving a website address or providing tracking information for packages and parts in industry.

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