The QR code was invented in Japan in 1994 by a development team led by Masahiro Hara for the company Denso Wave. The team was tasked with developing a barcode that makes it easy to track cars and car parts during manufacturing.
QR codes were designed to be read quickly and easily by scanners, and they soon became popular outside the automotive industry as a tool for tracking inventory and product information.
QR codes can save multiple types of data, including contact information, text URLs and even GPS coordinates. They can also be used to trigger actions on the phone, such as opening a website or downloading an app. QR codes have evolved over the years, and you can now even pay with them.
The higher the resolution of a QR code, the more data it can store. The smallest and oldest resolution is a matrix of 21×21 pixels, while version 40 of the QR code can have a resolution of up to 177×177 pixels and thus provide up to 1852 characters of data. Currently, version 10, with a resolution of 57×57 pixels, is the most common type of QR code you will find.
The systems follow the data from pixel to pixel to encode and decode. Since QR codes can only contain black and white pixels, each pixel can be represented as one bit. Patterns are used in the data to make it easier for scanners to read the QR code so they know when it has reached the end of a line or if there is an error. QR codes became widely used in the early 2000s because they can store information in a small space. QR code scanners were developed for phones and other mobile devices so that people could quickly scan them and access information on the go. These codes have various uses across all industries, such as retail, marketing, and logistics.
Regarding the current topic of connected packaging, brands are using serialised QR codes to offer unique experiences interactive digital experiences in different environments. By adding a digital element to packaging, consumers can use the technology to engage with brands in new ways never seen before.
Want to learn more? Here's an interesting case study from one of our clients that requested a connected packaging experience. Tetra Pak wanted to find ways to integrate its products while educating consumers about its sustainability efforts. Appetite achieved that through connected packaging and mobile game development. The user could access fun and interactive games related to the brand just by scanning a QR code on the package of the product. Read the complete case study HERE.
Here at Appetite Creative, we are experts in the use of QR codes. If you are interested in a connected experience using QR codes, don't hesitate to contact us HERE.
If you are interested in learning more about QR codes, check out our article "QR code VS. NFC technology" HERE. The article will explain two technological features, QR codes and NFC technology, and their main differences.