Everything You Need To Know

How Do I Use A QR Code?

QR Codes are very easy to use. You can use one via your smartphones whereby the smartphone uses its camera and an App to read the code. At the most it should take 5 seconds to scan a QR Code and process its data. The App on your phone uses the caperate to take an image of the QR Code you point it at, and the app then runs this image through an algorithm that extracts its data.

In industrial applications, special hardware can be used, but this isn't a critical requirement. Not being restricted to only special hardware is one of the key advantages QR Codes have. The benefits of using special hardware are related to speed and reliability. If you need to scan thousands of codes per hour in a warehouse, a smartphone with an App may not be the most efficient method. Hardware 100% dedicatd to this task can do so a lot more efficiently.

If you are interested in a more detailed walk through of how to scan a QR Code with a Smartphone, then keep reading, otherwise skip this section and move to the next page - 5. Who Invented QR Codes And Why?.

There are a few things you will need before we get started.

QR Code A QR Code - This ones pretty obvious, you need a QR Code to scan. If you don’t have one of your own then here’s one for you. We also have a page that allows you to “Make Your Own QR Code” if you would prefer to play with your own.

A Scanner - In this case we will use your smartphone and a Barcode Scanning app. Clearly if you are reading this on your smartphone, you will need a second device to scan with. Smartphone Apps are available for most popular platforms, if you’re not familiar with them and don't already have one, then we do have some recommendations here.

So the first thing you want to do is launch the app you’re going to use. Some apps will jump straight in and present you with the viewfinder but others may require a few clicks to get you ready to scan. The app should talk you through how to get get to a point where you are ready to scan the QR Code.

Scan Demo When you’re ready to scan, you will likely have the live view from your camera visible on your screen and a viewfinder of some sort overlayed on the screen. Some apps do give you the option to open an image already stored on your phone or at a URL and process a code from a digital source. This does saves you from needing a second device if already browsing from your smartphone or allows you to take a photo of a QR Code and then look at its contents at a alter time.

Using the viewfinder on your screen, centre the QR Code, some apps will provide you with target markers.

After a few seconds of steadying the QR Code within the apps viewfinder, the app will gain focus and take an image of the QR Code. it doesn't matter if you scanned this upside down. The app will then decode the QR Code and should relatively quickly present to you what it found within. Most apps will then also give you some suggestions on how to process the data.

If you scanned the QR Code example we provided, then your scanner should have been presented you with contact data and given you the option to save this data to your smartphones address book. Had the QR Code contained calendar data then you would have received an option to add the data to your calendar. Alternatively a URL would have given you the option to open your browser and visit a link.

What you can do with the data and your devices ability to decode the data is down to the developer of the application you’re using. If you don't get the options you’re looking for then try another app and see if that behaves more as you would expected.


Keep Reading: 5. Who Invented QR Codes And Why?

Or return to our FAQs

You should also consider reading The Technical Stuff