A Quick Response Code or "QR code" for short is a newer two-dimensional barcode. It can store much more data than a traditional barcode and more than just numbers.
A QR Code looks like this. It has very distinctive features:
- Position markers on the left side (upper and lower) and right upper side.
- Alignment markers that help with faster scanning. The more data in the QR code, the large the size of the image, the more alignment markers you will find.
- Timing markers that connect the Position Markers.
- Version information above the bottom right Position Marker and to the left of the upper right Position Marker.
- There is always blank space around the outside of the QR code so that is can be easily identifiable and scanned.
Most modern iPhone and Android phones will scan QR codes automatically through the native Photo App. Give it a try on your phone with the QR code above.
A QR code has the ability to store different types of information:
- generic text
- URL - will automatically open an browser to the location
- contact data - adds to your address book
- calender event - adds to your calendar app
- email address - open a new email to the person in your email app
- phone number - opens your phone's dialer
- SMS - open a new text message to the person
- GPS - opens a map app to the location
- WiFi - automatically add yourself to a WiFi network, including the password
- Files - binary data
The latest version of a QR code can store 7,089 numbers, 4,296 alphanumeric characters, 2,953 bytes of binary data, or 1,817 Kanji characters.
Full details can be found at Wikipedia.
It is worth nothing that while QR codes are the most popular two-dimensional barcode, there are many other types of two-dimensional barcodes.