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QR Codes: Technical Data

Micro-Techie Stuff: QR Codes (also called QR barcodes and quick response codes)

Just how do they work? A QR code is a matrix. Matrices are tables that contain information in two dimensions--that is, they can read data both vertically and horizontally. Forty versions of QR Codes currently exist, each containing 21 to 177 modules. Modules contain that data or content that your downloaded QR code reader decodes. There are an equal amount of width and height modules. This is why QR codes are square and can range in size from small to large. Larger QR codes are easier to read and are more stable to scan.

The data capacity of any QR matrix:

Numeric: 7,089 characters maximum
Alphanumeric: 4,296 characters maximum
Binary: 2,953 characters maximum
Kanji/Kana: 1,817 characters maximum (Japanese)

This means that QR codes can hold lots of information in a small space. Micro QR codes are used mostly for electronics and circuit boards where information must be listed in a very tiny area. These codes are identifiable by size and by one position detection square usually in the upper left corner. There are just four versions of the Micro QR code, each with 11 to 17 modules. This means that the largest micro QR code still holds less data than the smallest regular QR code.

As a consumer, you will likely encounter the larger QR Codes. Larger QR codes are “in-your-face” symbols that consumers tend to click. Once the QR Codes are scanned, then the manufacturer or the merchant can easily track what entices you and offer you more of the things that you want. For young Millennials, there is nothing better than dynamic content.