QR Code

Glossary term descrip­tion
  • Also known as
  • Quick response code

A quick response code, abbre­vi­ated with QR Code, is a two dimen­sional matrix of black dots and white spaces. QR codes store infor­ma­tion as URLs, track­ing codes, or other iden­ti­fiers, intended to be read by a scan­ning device, smart phone or cam­era.

QR Code was orig­i­nally invented in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Toy­ota sub­sidiary, as a way to track vehi­cles as they were assem­bled, and to scan com­po­nents at high speeds. While Denso Wave does hold the patent on the tech­nol­ogy, it has granted free licence on it, going so far as to pub­lish the spec­i­fi­ca­tions online, and allow­ing any­one to use it.

The two-dimen­sional QR Codes can hold a lot more of infor­ma­tion that con­ven­tional one-dimen­sional bar­codes as code 39. They fit well on printed doc­u­ments and mag­a­zines, cloth­ing, point-of-pur­chase dis­plays, pack­ag­ing, vehi­cles, build­ings or busi­ness cards. This led to a fast adap­tion of QR Codes beyond the auto­mo­tive indus­try. Busi­nesses use them in a wide vari­ety from link­ing to their web­sites, com­pany helplines, or Google Maps direc­tions, to inven­tory track­ing, ship­ping and logis­tics, online tick­et­ing, or even to enable for fast and easy elec­tronic pay­ments.