What is a QR code?
تكنولوجيا JUL 27, 2017

Short for Quick-Response code, a QR code is the modern-day version of barcodes you see on every-day products. These codes were mainly intended for fast machine readability as an attempt at integrating computers into our every-day life.

To those who don’t know how barcodes function, a laser-emitting machine scans through this space of black and white stripes. The laser beam would then be reflected from the white areas into the machine, and would be absorbed by the black stripes. As such, the machine would read something like 101110110, for example, where the 1 is represented by a white stripe and the 0 by a black stripe. This combination is then analyzed by the cashier’s computer and matched with an item, say a bag of chips that costs $1.

As such, instead of having an employee manually trying to find the price of the item then inserting that price into the computer, which is prone to error, the laser device would do it in a split of a second.


Almost the same thing happens with QR codes, except they are much more complex. Let me elaborate.

The common part between barcodes and QR codes is the fact that the black and white areas are translated into 0’s and 1’s. Difference is, the barcode will translate these 0’s and 1’s into a static piece of information which is attached to a database, whereas the QR code is the information itself.


What are QR codes used for?

Practically anything. It can span from something as small as a picture of you, all the way to a link to your website, on the one hand, and your business card on the other. In fact, whenever you open WhatsApp on your laptop (www.web.whatsapp.com), it asks you to open your phone and scan a fuzzy shaped thing. That’s a QR code.



How do I generate a QR code?

Luckily, there are numerous free services that offer you the ability to generate your own QR code. One such example is QR Stuff: just click on that link and you’re good to go; it’s self-explanatory.


To make things easier, I’m going to give you a brief tutorial through the image below on how to generate it. When you click on the link provided above, you will be prompted to this webpage:


1- Data Type: This is to specify what your QR code is going to link to. It could be your office’s location (coordinates), your LinkedIn account or even a link to perform a Skype Call with you. I personally chose it to link to my Instagram account.

2- Content: Depending on the data type that you chose, the content will vary. In this case, it asked me to provide my Instagram username (handle).

3- Foreground Color: This is pure design. Nothing matters here, but from personal experience, try to keep it as simple as possible. Black is the most commonly used color.

4- Output Type: Also self-explanatory.

Note: Not all phones support QR code reading by nature, which is why you might need to download an application to make it work.


Try my code out and let me know if it works!



Figure 1 - My own QR code

تكنولوجيا JUL 27, 2017
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