We answer: What is QR code and how to use it?

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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what is QR code
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In the recent years we saw increasing number of QR codes. You probably saw a QR code at least once, and since QR codes are one of the simplest ways to share information, today we’re going to explain you what are QR codes and how do they work.

What is QR code and how does it work?

QR code stands for Quick Response Code, and it’s a matrix barcode similar to Universal Product Code. Unlike Universal Product Codes that you see on almost any product, QR codes are used for different purposes. QR codes can store more information, and this is one of the main reasons for their popularity.

QR code was invented in 1994 in Japan, and it was used to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. QR codes are simple to use, and since they can store large amount of data, it’s no surprise to see that QR codes became a part of everyday life.

Regular barcodes are one-dimensional, thus they cannot store as much information as a two-dimensional barcode such as QR code. Speaking of information, QR codes can store about 4,000 alphanumeric characters, which is quite impressive. Unlike old barcodes that were scanned by a narrow beam of light, QR codes are scanned by image sensor, and they are decrypted by a programmed processor. After detecting the QR code, the processor scans the image and the position of dots, and converts them to binary numbers. In order to scan a QR code, you don’t need any expensive sensor since any smartphone with a camera can be used to scan and see the information stored inside a QR code.

Since almost any smartphone can scan a QR code, it’s no wonder that QR codes are often used in advertising. QR code can store any text, such as a phone number, email address or website. Most commonly the QR codes are used to provide quick access to certain website, so for example, by scanning a certain product that has a QR code on it, you can visit the manufacturer’s website and find more information regarding this product. Possibilities are endless, and this is why QR codes became so popular.

QR codes can be printed on any surface and read by any smartphone that has a rear camera, therefore you can see why QR codes can be helpful. QR codes are being displayed everywhere, and you can see them on business cards, billboards, magazines. These codes can be used for almost any purpose, and in certain parts of the world QR codes are even printed on tickets. In addition, QR codes can be used to authenticate certain devices, or website logins, and in fact, there are reports that Microsoft included QR codes on Blue Screen of Death errors in Windows 10 in order to quickly show you more information regarding certain errors.

As we previously mentioned, to scan a certain QR code you just need a smartphone with a rear camera and special application that can decrypt QR codes. There is a wide range of applications available for all mobile platforms that allow you to scan QR codes, so be sure to download one of these applications.

If you want to create your own QR code, you can do that easily for free. There are many QR code generators available online, and you can use any of them to quickly generate your QR code. After you generate your code, you can share it with others or print it on any surface.

QR codes are one of the simplest ways to store data on a small surface, and the possibilities of QR codes are endless. It’s certain that we’ll see more QR codes in the future, and we hope that you understand QR codes a bit better after reading this article.


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