A QR code
(abbreviated from Quick Response code
) is a specific matrix barcode
(or two-dimensional code) that is readable
by dedicated QR barcode readers
, telephone camera
, and to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL
, or other data.
Common in Japan
, where it was created by Toyota
-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. The QR code was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.
The technology has seen frequent use in Japan
, the Netherlands
, and South Korea
, while the rest of the world has been slower in the adoption of QR codes.
Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes now are used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone
users (termed mobile tagging
). QR codes may be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard
contact to the user's device, to open a Uniform Resource Identifier
(URI), or to compose an e-mail
or text message. Users can generate and print their own QR codes for others to scan and use by visiting one of several paid and free QR code generating sites or apps.
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