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QR Codes for Beginners: How Do QR Codes Work?

In 2018, global high-speed internet penetration was 51.2%. In 2018, something else suddenly happened: QR codes became mainstream.

What is a QR code? How do QR codes work? Good questions.

We’re going to dive into those and more, and some things you can do with them. Even how and why you can use it instead of other things, like a barcode.

Are you ready to find out? Read on to know more.

What Are QR Codes Used For?

Simply put, QR codes are a medium for storage, like a thumb drive or the solid-state drive (SSD) in your computer. It’s printed on a piece of paper or displayed on a screen. Don’t get too excited about trying to store much on it, though.

QR code version 40 (the largest size) holds a maximum of 2.9KB.

Speaking in purely computer storage terms, 2.9KB is tiny. For comparison, the average 10-12MP camera on your phone takes a picture that is 3MB in size. That’s 1000 times larger than the data that can be stored on a QR code.

Instead, QR codes often store letters and numbers in sequence.

Why would you want to store letters and numbers? Let’s see a few examples of how they’re used and find out why:

  • In place of business cards, or on them
  • Education aids in classrooms
  • Widely used in print advertising
  • Fintech, digital wallets, and money transfers
  • Product packaging, similar to print advertising
  • Travel or other kinds of tickets for authorization and entry
  • Event invitations to link to a site, or download information like location

These use cases are by no means the only ways QR codes are utilized. A QR code is used to take digital information from a physical medium into a digital device. Using QR codes as a means for money changing hands has seen the largest use to date, next to advertising.

How Do QR Codes Work?

There’s a long and technical version of this answer and a short version.

They work by opening your laptop or phone camera and getting the whole QR code in the frame. If you’re on iPhone, the native camera app has it built-in. Android phone manufacturers are starting to catch up on this great idea.

Apps like LINE, WeChat already have this technology built-in. If you want to get someone’s contact info they open their app, tap QR code, and you open your app, tap scan and look at your QR code. Now you’re friends.

It’s as simple as that, without searching for names, email addresses, or phone numbers.

In a day and age where we are a little private about that kind of personal information, especially with OTPs being sent to our personal phone numbers, it’s a secure way to connect to new people and network.

The long answer is too long for a beginner’s guide like this!

Can You Make A QR Code?

“Can I make a QR code?” Absolutely you can. There are tons of QR code generators out there for simple things. But if you need a professional and well-written generator you should probably avoid web-generated code and get a net QR code generator.

An app like this on your PC can prevent hacks and other malicious code from being embedded into the QR code, and you know it’s clean to use and distribute. It has the added benefit that you don’t need an internet connection to use it.

QR Codes: Over and Out

Now that you know the answer to the question of: how do QR codes work, what will you do with it? QR codes are an amazing and simple tool. Who knew that a simple barcode alternative would change the world so much?

We know you enjoyed this article and it helped you learn more about QR codes if you’ve made it this far. We have tons of other articles at Better Tech Tips to keep you fresh and updated on today’s tech news!

Keep reading to find out what’s next!

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