QR Code Encoder

QR codes were used in the auto parts tracking mechanism in 1994 and it became popular in the United States recently due to such features like high speed reading, high capacity, great density, error correction, structured append, and accessibility through mobile phones and the Internet. QR codes are also used in smartphones to redirect mobile users to information on the topic requested by the user. QR code encoders are used for encoding information, which can be printed on coupons, passes, tickets or almost anything else. The printed information can be decoded, later to be displayed as text, emails or website URLs.

There are many types of QR code encoders which can be used for encoding characters and print QR codes. QR code encoders are offered in the form of packages to support O.S. such as Linux, UNIX, MAC, and Windows. Although QR codes are not encrypted, in some applications it can be encrypted and later decrypted using the DES system of algorithm.

Function of QR Code Encoder

The encoded format of QR codes stores two types of information, namely, the error correction level, and the mask pattern which is used for the symbol.

Masking is the feature which is used to break up the patterns in the data area which may not be interpreted by the scanner. It involves the removal of blank areas and misleading features which resemble the locator marks. Masking patterns can be defined in 6 X 6 grids structure and it can be repeated to cover the symbol. The modules which represent the dark areas of the mask are mostly reversed and the BCH code is used to protect the pattern from errors. Mainly, two complete copies of the format are included in the QR symbol. The message data is placed from the right side to the left in a random fashion. The large QR code symbols can be complicated due to the presence of zigzag alignment patterns, which have a number of interleaved error correction blocks.

Encoding Modes

QR codes can be encoded in numeric (0-9) alphanumeric (0-9 A-Z etc.), 8-bit bytes, and Kanji characters. Numeric characters are encoded to 10-bit length per 3 digits and it can store up to 7,089 characters. There are 45 types of alphanumeric characters and two characters are encoded into 11 bit length. There are 4,296 characters or less alphanumeric characters stored in QR codes. The alphanumeric encoding system is very compact as compared to the byte system of encoding but it does not allow storing lower case letters and there is limited selection in punctuation marks in the alphanumeric encoding mode of storage.

The 8-bit byte data includes 2,953 characters or less as per theory and Kanji characters. It encodes to 13 bits length which includes 1,817 or less characters in QR code.

The error correction is defined in four levels, namely, 7 percent or less (Level L), 15 percent (Level M) or less, 25 percent (Level Q) or less and 30 percent (Level H) or less.

The size of QR code is also called version and it can vary from one to forty. Version 1 is written as 21 X 21 and when the version increases, 4 modules increase, which means the version 40 is denoted as 177 X 177.

Variants

There are two types of QR codes -

A micro QR code is a smaller version of the QR code standard application and it has less ability to hold large scans. The highest value which can be stored in micro QR code is 35 numeric characters.

Standard QR codes can hold large scans, up to 7,089 characters, although, not all readers can scan this much data.

There are many QR code encoders and decoders offered on the Internet and some of the popular QR code generators are GoQR.me, QRSTuff.com, and ZXing. You can even use open-source code library for generating QR codes. Open-source PHP QR codes library support 1-40 versions of QR codes, various encoding languages, and the QR codes can be exported as JPEG, PNG or as bit table. These encoding patterns are easy to configure. You even get debugging, time benchmarking, and error logging provisions with open-source code library.

Advantages of QR Code Encoders

QR code encoders provide a number of improved features over conventional bar codes which include the following:

  1. High capacity encoding: It offers high capacity encoding of data which allows storage of many characters, whereas, a conventional bar code stores up to 20 digits.
  2. Improved efficiency of information storage: The encoded QR codes carry information both vertically and horizontally, which means, it uses one-tenth of space. QR code can store more information as compared to bar codes where information is not stored both ways.
  3. Capabilities to store Kana and Kanji characters: As compared to other 2-dimensional symbols, QR codes can encode JIS level 1 and 2 Kanji character set and a full width Kanji character or Kana character can be encoded easily in 13 bits, which helps QR code to store 20 percent more information in comparison to other means.
  4. Damage resistance: QR codes are damage resistant and it can be restored even if it is dirty because it has error correction capabilities. In a partially damaged QR code, one can restore up to 30 percent of information which is represented in codeword Codeword is the unit that constructs the data area. In QR system of coding, one codeword holds 8 bits. However, in case of extreme damage, the data may not be fully restored.
  5. Omni-directional encoding: The encoded form of QR codes is readable from various directions, which means that it’s omni-directional. This way, you can read the same data either from the lower symbols or the upper symbols, and it allows high speed reading. The QR codes can accomplish great tasks through position detection patterns which are located in 3 corners of the picture and the position detection system ensures fast reading and also reduces the effect of background interference.
  6. Multiple data areas: QR codes are patterns which can be divided into many data areas and the information of QR codes can be designed into a single data structure. The data symbol can be divided into 16 symbols and it also allows printing the pattern on a narrow area.