QR codes and your phones camera
One of the positive things to come out of the COVID 19 pandemic is the education and uptake of QR codes (Quick Response Codes).
Before COVID 19, QR codes were the tools of the nerds (like me, and even I rarely used them). Sure you’d find them on the back of some advertising packages, but most people had no idea what they are. The thought of pointing your camera at the code was as alien as…… well an Alien.
During COVID, they became ubiquitous and sometimes an essential passport to access the normality that was taken away from us all.
Most phones have inbuilt QR readers. Apple released the feature for iPhone’s to read QR Codes as early as 2017, and Google android introduced in 2018 – before that people had to download an app to read QR codes
How do QR codes work?
You know barcodes right? You know how they work right?
Nope – ok, well each line reflects an amount of light. Depending upon the amount of light it reflects its tells the computer what number it is. You’ve been in a store before when the code doesn’t scan, so the cashier grumpily types in the number manually while squinting at the tiny digits.
So what is the difference between QR codes to barcodes? Well first of all a barcode is read horizontally, whereas a QR code is read vertically and horizontally. Due to this structural difference, it can hold a hundred times more information. kaboom!
The 3 black squares are position markers – these allow the scanners to know where the data modules are. The different-sized blocks are in rows and columns, and each block represents different pieces of information. Some cool things about QR codes are that they can have your logo/picture in the center and they have built-in error correction (something called the Reed-Solomon Code) which adds backup data to the QR code mathematically. This means if part of the QR code is obscured it will still work (up to a point)
Check the QR code on the right, we have the Leave.Review logo and our main character image embedded on to the QR code. I created this quickly by pasting on the graphics and testing, but you can get really creative with your branding and your QR code.