The «Quick Response Codes«, more commonly known, as QR codes, have been around since DENSO WAVE, a TOYOTA’s subsidiary company, developed the two dimensional barcode in 1994. The QR code was created as a result of the electronic kanban needs to store more characters than an usual barcode: to store kanji and kana characters, as well as alphanumeric ones.
There are six types of QR codes in existence so far: QR Code Model 1, QR Code Model 2, Micro QR Code, iQR Code, SQRC and Frame QR:
- Model 1 QR: has a storing capacity of 1,167 numerals. Can be read in a 360º orientation.
- Model 2 QR: has a storing capacity of 7,089 numerals. Can be read in a 360º orientation. This is the type of QR mostly used today.
- Micro QR Code: has a storing capacity of 35 numerals. Can be read in only one direction.
- iQR Code: has a storing capacity of 40,000 numerals (square) and 1,200 numerals (rectangul). Can be found either in square or rectangular shape and arguably read only in one direction.
- Frame QR: is a QR with a «canvas» area, mostly used for promotional purposes.
Although DENSO WAVE retained the patent rights over QR, the decision to make the specifications, and the code, publicly available, has facilitated its widespread to almost every industry’s branch.
Written by Carlos Alberto Teruel