How Scanning A QR Code Works

Chances are that you have seen QR codes while shopping or looking at advertisements. They are those black and white square graphics that are replacing bar codes in many settings. You may even think of them as the next generation of bar codes. The pixelated pattern of squares that make up a QR code can hold hundreds of times more information than the standard old bar code.

How QR Codes Work

QR codes can be created easily. Google “QR generator” and your search will bring up a plethora of websites that will create QR codes for free. Each QR code is a square with smaller black and white inset squares in each of three corners. These are called position markers and they tell the scanner where to start and stop reading. The rest of the code is a series of black or white smaller squares that tell the computer how to read the code and then provide the information to the computer in a binary format.

What You Need

To get started with using QR codes, all you need is a mobile phone with a camera and access to the internet. Your smartphone may already come with a factory installed QR Reader. If not, you can easily download one from the internet. Use your phone to access the app store used by your particular phone type. Once there, search for “QR Reader”. This will take you to the available applications for reading QR Codes. Choose one and install it on your phone.
Once you have your phone set up, using a QR code is easy. Use your menu to open the QR Reader application. Point your smartphone at the code and the phone will scan and read it almost immediately. From there, your phone will follow the instructions of the QR code. This usually means that your web browser will open and take you to the web page that provides you with information about the product or event that is linked to the QR code.

Why Use QR Codes?

QR, or Quick Response, codes can be scanned with your smartphone and take you instantly to a website that provides further information about the product or event that it is representing. After scanning a QR code for information, it may open up applications on your phone and upload information for you. For example, you may scan an advertisement for a film, be taken to a video of the film’s trailer and have the release date added into the calendar on your phone.
Scanning an advertisement with a contest may open up your email or text messaging with the email address field already completed so that you can send a contest entry in immediately. Scan the QR code for an open house and it may take you to a map of the location, add the time and date into your calendar and upload the real estate agent’s information into your contacts.
Having a QR reader on your phone can make your shopping life so much easier. It allows you to research the shoes you want to buy, see what other colours and styles are available and even see other locations that sell an item.

Shoppers can scan a QR code and be taken to a website that shows matching accessories or even washing instructions. Scanning a document with a QR code on a label can put the entire internet at your fingertips.

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