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QR Codes Arrive on Xbox One! - Feb 2017

Xbox One

Back in November 2013, Microsofts next generatin console launched, the Xbox One. In addition to its bump in graphical capability, it brought with it the updated Kinect which promises to help deliver the next gen. experience.

So why would I be talking about Xbox One on a website dedicated to QR Codes? The answers lies with the new and improved high resolution camera sensors in the Xbox Ones Kinnect.

This new higher resolution sensor is now capable of scanning a QR Code from range. I’m sure Microsoft can come up with many new uses for this capability, but from launch one feature was live and worked well.

We were lucky enough to get hold of the day one edition console and with that, came the promise of some free games. There wasnt a disk in the Xbox box when it arrived, but instead the free games were presented as a digital download once the console was up and running.

Typically with this sort of offer, you’re given a code which can sometimes be 30 or more digits long that you need to type into the Xbox store in order to access the promotion. This basic process still exists with Xbox One, You open the box containing your free download, enter the marketplace from the Xbox and get ready to type in the code.

The big addition with the Xbox one however, is that this piece of card which contains my licence key, also contains a QR Code. The code wasn’t massive in physical size, around 2” x 2”. When you launch the Xbox marketplace, you're given the option to either hold up the card with the QR Code on in front of you and Kinnect will read the QR Code from a distance, or you can type in the code manually.

My first attempt at this from about 4 metres away failed, i was too far away for the code to be detected when i held it up, but leaning towards the console only a little and holding out the card at arms length did result in it being detected and read successfully. This feature offers a nice easy way to enter those codes, which i personally find frustrating to enter with a games controller.

I'm not sure exactly what is encoded within the QR Code and i disposed of the card after it had been used, but it can be assumed that the serial is included in the QR Code as plain text and simply read by the marketplace.

We have already seen the likes of Subway (the sandwich chain) making use of QR Codes and also the YouTube app on Xbox One / 360 allows you to pair a Smartphone using a QR Code rather than typing in a code.


If you want to learn more about QR Codes, you should read What's A QR Code?

Or you can return to QR Code News

Alternatively if you know the basics and want something a bit more technical, try The Technical Stuff