Nowadays, QR codes are still used to track products and product information through a supply chain, but they are also used for so much more. You've likely used a QR code to view a menu, link a social profile or add friends to an account, board a flight, download an app, send and receive payments, access Wi-Fi, and authenticate your login details. The possibilities with QR codes are truly endless.
Denso Wave has also made some significant improvements to the code's design. Now QR codes can come with brand protection, anti-forgery measures, and traceability, all features meant to improve the QR code experience as they become increasingly more common across industries.
What makes up a QR code?
Visually, a QR code looks like a twisted crossword puzzle, but its design is crucial to its function. Here are some of its most important elements.
- Position detection markers: The prominent squares located in three corners of each code offer easier recognition and assist with reading the QR code at high speed.
- Alignment markers: These help straighten out codes placed on curved surfaces. It's smaller than a position detection marker but will become larger the more information a QR code holds.
- Timing pattern: The black and white alternating modules configure the data grid and help the scanner calculate how large the data matrix is.
- Version information: This determines which of the 40 different QR code versions is being used, with the most common versions being 1 to 7.
- Format information: This pattern holds information about the data mask pattern and error tolerance of the code, making it easier to scan.
- Data and error correction keys: The error correction function shares a structural space where all the data in a QR code is contained. This correction block's mechanism is essential to allowing up to 30% of a code being read if damaged.
- Quiet Zone: This white space can be seen as the border of a QR code to help improve comprehension for scanning and provide structure. It determines what is and isn't part of the code.