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What is QR Code or Quick Response Barcode?

By Posted In: Jargons



What is QR Code?

QR Code is an odd looking , machine readable, square shaped graphic label. QR Code is an acronym for Quick Response Code. It’s an extension of the traditional bar code.  It was initially developed by Japanese auto makers to track the auto components. Bar codes usually store numbers and letters and has short limits, whereas QR codes can accommodate comparatively larger amount of data.


How it works…

These graphic labels are easily scanned by scanners or apps. Apps usually use a camera to capture the image of the QR code. It then decodes the code and reads the underlying information. Apps can process the information further based on the usage.


Some interesting usages…

  1. Whatsapp for Web
    Many mobile apps use the qr code to connect to it’s web versions. Here is an example of how Whatsapp for web works. When a user visits , he is presented with a dynamically generated QR code.  Whatsapp mobile app has an option called “Whatsapp Web”, which has the ability to scan this QR Code. The moment you scan the code in your browser, whatsapp web server authenticates you and opens the whatsapp in your web browser. This offers you the ability to use the Whatsapp from within your web browser. The entire process does not require any login or lengthy authentication.

    whatsapp web - qr code

  2. QR Code Based Cash-lesh Payments
    This is another interesting use of QR Code, thats rapidly catching up. Every user is given a unique QR code, which can be scanned by the other user to transfer money.

    cashless payment using paytm qr code


  3. Advertising/Billboards
    Advertisers club a QR code along with their ads/offers on billboards, newspapers or magazines. People on the move, do not have to type in the whole url to find out more details or to avail the offer. All they need to do is to simply scan the very clearly displayed QR code, which lands them directly on the web page that presents more information. All this without pressing any single keystroke. This also makes it easy for the advertisers to track the impact.
  4. Device registration / Product Identification & Configuration
    Device manufactures have started using QR code for easy configuration of devices. For example, IP cameras come with a QR Code sticker printed on the bottom which can be scanned by the accompanying app that reads the stored configuration data and easily configures the device for use.

    IP Camera using QR Code for easy setup

  5. Tickets/Passes
    Event companies provide digitally generated tickets to the customers. The tickets can be downloaded in mobiles or printed on paper. The tickets contain a QR Code. When the person having ticket enters the event venue, the organisers have an app that can read the QR Code printed on the ticket and validate with the customer’s data available on the server. This helps to know if the ticket is genuine and has not been used before. If it has been used already, the app will indicate that the person has already checked in.

    event ticket with qr code


  6. Certificates
    Our education startup makes an interesting use of QR Codes. The free assessment module allows learners to assess their skills using our multiple choice based questionnaires contributed by various tutors. At the end, they are awarded with a certificate, which is dynamically generated by the system containing their scores and details, which they can print and present to their teachers or interviewers. The digitally generated certificate contains a tiny QR Code. The interviewers can easily scan the QR Code to find out if the certificate is genuine and verify their scores and even see their answers for various questions.

    tutorcity assessment certificate qr code


The list does not end here. The usage of a QR code is limited only by your imagination. At VOCSO, we actively use the QR code on our business cards and  identity card for employees. Please let us know via comment, if you’ve come up with some other interesting usage.


How to generate QR Codes…

These codes can be generated programmatically as part of web or mobile applications and aid in easing the workflow for the end users. However if you simply want to generate some QR Code for lighter usage like, printing on business cards, brochures, etc, there are some free online service that will allow you to create them quickly.



Deepak Chauhan About Deepak Chauhan
Hi, I am Deepak Chauhan, a Digital Marketing Strategist. I'm the CEO & Co-Founder of VOCSO Technologies, a creative web design, development, marketing agency based out of India & USA. I love to blog about my experiences and strategies to help new startups. When I'm not working, I'm either traveling, playing foosball, cricket or learning photography.

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