QR Codes A Brief.

We have seen an increase in QR codes in the last couple of years,but more so during the COVID-19 pandemic where every restaurant placed a QR code on every table,im sure everyone can relate!!

They have become ubiquitous in our daily lives and yet it took me a while to know what the letters Q and R stand for.In Case you didn’t know they stand for Quick Response!! I must admit I was blown away when i learned the meaning,You could say i was assuming it mean some crazy Tech lingo.

History of QR Codes

The QR code system was invented in 1994 by a team led by Masahiro Hara from the Japanese company Denso Wave1. It was initially used as labels for automotive parts1. In 1999, it was approved as a standard 2D code by the Japan Industrial Standards and made a standard 2D symbol on the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s EDI standard transaction forms2. In 2000 it was approved by the ISO as one of its international standards2.

Sources:1. en.wikipedia.org

2. qrcode.com

3. britannica.com

Advantages of QR Codes

As mentioned earlier QR codes have certainly made things easier for Human beings in general:

QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by smartphones and other devices to access various types of information. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in marketing, e-commerce, and payments. But what are the advantages of QR codes and why should you use them for your business? Here are some of the main benefits of QR codes:

  • Versatility: QR codes can store and link to different kinds of data, such as websites, videos, images, social media, contact details, coupons, and more. You can use them for various purposes, such as promoting your products or services, providing customer support, collecting feedback, facilitating transactions, and so on.
  • Convenience: QR codes are easy to create and scan. You can generate them online using free or paid tools and print them on any surface or material. You can also scan them with any smartphone camera or app without needing any special equipment or software. QR codes make it convenient for your customers to access your online content or perform actions with just a simple scan.
  • Engagement: QR codes can help you increase your customer engagement and loyalty by providing them with valuable information, incentives, or experiences. For example, you can use QR codes to offer discounts, rewards, freebies, or exclusive content to your customers. You can also use them to create interactive campaigns, games, quizzes, or contests that can attract and retain your customers’ attention.
  • Trackability: QR codes can help you measure and analyze your marketing performance and customer behavior by providing you with data such as scan counts, locations, devices, time, and more. You can use this data to optimize your QR code campaigns and improve your conversion rates and return on investment (ROI).
  • Creativity: QR codes can help you stand out from your competitors and showcase your brand personality by allowing you to customize their design and appearance. You can add colors, shapes, logos, icons, or images to your QR codes to make them more appealing and memorable. You can also integrate them with other elements of your print or digital media to create a cohesive and consistent brand identity.

These are some of the advantages of QR codes that can help you grow your business and connect with your customers in a more effective and efficient way. QR codes are not only a useful tool but also a powerful strategy that can enhance your marketing and communication efforts.

Disadvantages of QR Codes

QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can store a large amount of information and can be scanned by smartphones or other devices with QR scanners. They have become popular in recent years for various purposes, such as marketing, payments, authentication and information sharing. However, QR codes also have some disadvantages that users and businesses should be aware of before using them.

Some of the disadvantages of QR codes are:

  • Lack of familiarity: Many people are still not familiar with QR codes and how to use them. They may not have the required software or hardware to scan them, or they may not understand what they are supposed to do after scanning them. This can limit the reach and effectiveness of QR codes as a communication tool. [1]
  • Dependence on devices: QR codes rely on smartphones or other devices with cameras and QR scanners to work. This means that users need to have access to these devices and keep them charged and connected to the internet. If the device malfunctions, gets lost, stolen or damaged, the user may not be able to scan or access the QR code content. [2]
  • Security risks: QR codes can pose security risks for users and businesses, as they can be used to hide malicious links, malware, phishing or scams. Users may not be able to verify the source or destination of a QR code before scanning it, and they may end up exposing their personal or financial information, downloading unwanted software or visiting harmful websites. Businesses may also face legal or reputational consequences if their QR codes are compromised or misused by hackers or competitors. [3]
  • User experience issues: QR codes can also create user experience issues, such as inconvenience, confusion, frustration or dissatisfaction. Users may find it cumbersome to scan a QR code instead of typing a URL or clicking a link. They may also encounter problems such as poor readability, low contrast, insufficient size, distortion or damage of the QR code image. Moreover, they may not receive clear instructions, feedback or confirmation after scanning a QR code, or they may be directed to irrelevant, outdated or low-quality content. [4]

QR codes are not inherently bad, but they have some limitations and challenges that need to be considered and addressed by users and businesses. They should not be used as a substitute for other forms of communication, but as a complement that adds value and convenience. They should also be designed, tested and maintained carefully to ensure their functionality, security and quality.


[1] https://bytescout.com/blog/2019/04/qr-code-advantages-and-limitations.html
[2] https://www.hostmerchantservices.com/2021/09/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-qr-codes/
[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/10/07/are-qr-codes-safe/
[4] https://www.rfwireless-world.com/Terminology/Advantages-and-Disadvantages-of-QR-code.html

Let me know in the comments below what you like or dont like about QR codes.


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