Originally intended to replace the traditional barcode, the use of the QR code, born in Japan,
took some time to spread, especially in the Western world..
A progressive development
QR code is an abbreviation of "Quick Response code".
The QR code was invented in 1994 by a Japanese engineer: Masahiro Hara.
The man works in the automotive industry, for a subsidiary of Toyota.
In his daily work, he is looking for a system to optimize the identification and routing of car parts...
Because the traditional barcodes used can only store a limited amount of data.
Only about 20 alphanumeric characters per barcode.
An invention inspired by the game of GO
Masahiro Hara wants to develop a new code and to create it, he will draw his inspiration from the game of GO,
a traditional Asian strategy game composed of black and white pieces to be placed on a grid.
The ingenious engineer develops a square matrix combination of black dots on a white background.
And, moreover, he has the idea of the three small squares that mark the corners of all QR codes:
these are the marks that will allow a reading device to recognize the presence of the code and its orientation.
Scan me, scan me, scan me
The QR code, this combination of black and white dots, can contain 4200 characters.
That is 200 times more information than in a barcode. Moreover, a QR code, even if 30% of it is damaged,
remains functional, whereas a scratched barcode is unreadable.
And the success is there. In the early 2000s, the use of the QR code spread throughout Asia.
A success that goes hand in hand with the proliferation of smartphones allowing to scan the code directly.
But on the Western side, the QR code had a little more difficulty to impose itself...
It will in fact know its true hour of glory from 2020 with the Covid 19 epidemic.
Health passes, restaurant menus to be scanned to avoid handling cards, QR codes are suddenly everywhere.
And we discover the extent of their possibilities: means of payment, concert tickets, airplane tickets, product information...
Moreover, anyone can create and use QR codes.
The invention was left free of rights of use so that it can be used by the greatest number.
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