What are QR Codes, and How Were They Invented?

There is a reason QR codes exist; their creators had certain needs and intentions. Further, they reflect the norms and challenges of their era. Come and sift through the mountains of QR code background with us as we reveal the narrative of how this beautiful code was born.

What Are QR Codes?

A quick response code, or QR code, is a form of matrix barcode developed in 1994 by the Japanese car parts manufacturer, Denso Wave. In order to decipher a QR Code, you have to use a laser scanner or a smartphone camera, both of which typically run specialized software.

The Road Leading to the Birth of QR Codes

The supermarket’s emergence to satisfy the suburban hordes’ needs prompted a novel logistical issue in the United States. How can such a large number of unique objects be efficiently processed all at once?

Shortcomings of the Traditional UPC Code

Originally promoted by IBM, the barcode could hold a 12-digit number. But, in 1974, code 39 barcodes became available, which could contain 30 different alphabetic and numeric characters. However, none of them can hold more than about 100 characters.

How Were QR Codes Invented?

The 1960s saw Japan’s rapid economic expansion, and with it came the proliferation of neighborhood stores stocking everything from fresh produce to secondhand apparel. The price had to be manually entered into the cash register for purchases made at these stores. Many cashiers developed carpal tunnel syndrome and other wrist problems as a result.

Reasons Why QR Codes Became So Popular Back Then

– It enabled optical scanners to access more data at any given time. This was due to the fact that the optical scanner accesses encoded information in both directions. – The code itself was scannable from a wider variety of angles and distances.

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