The History of QR Codes
Quick Response codes or the QR code is a matrix type coding system that is capable of being read and understood by smart phones. Till last year India had about 300 million smart phone users in the country. That is a huge growing market for businesses that plan to start using this form of coding system to reach out and market their product through online promotional strategies to mobile phone users in the country.
How didit all start and evolve?
The first barcode was invented in 1952 which was a circular shaped code. Commercially the first barcode was used in the year 1966. Supermarkets in USA were the first to start using the barcode system way back in 1974. The purpose was two-fold:
- Accurate monitoring and tracking of inventory.
- Minimize manual entering of price and other related data during invoicing.
Soon, the US defense and certain shipping companies started using the barcode system to track items and packages.
The earliest form of Barcode was based on the Morse code that was made up of thick and thin bars placed parallel to each other. The two commonly used bar code systems in the world are the – the European Article Number (EAN) and the Universal Product Code (UPC). The commonly used EAN typically is a 13 digit codewhereas the UPC is a 12 digit code. This linear or one dimensionalcode contains information about the manufacturer and the products produced by him in the form of manufacturer code and product code.
In 1994, Denso Wave Company introduced the QR code. The code was initially started to monitor vehicle parts in the vehicle manufacturing plant. It later stretched out to other industries and by 2010 the first type of QR scanner and decoder was launched in the USA. This code can store not only numerical data; it can consist of alphabets, alphanumeric figures, website address and more.
In less than a decade, this coding system has been adopted by different companies and marketers to facilitate their customers. QR codes have found their way in print advertisements, packaging of retail products, visiting cards, brochures, at outdoor and video kiosks, bus stops and metro stations, email newsletters, signages, conference name tags and lots more. They have been adopted widely by online payment aggregators like Paytm and Mobiquick to develop the virtual wallet payment system. These virtual wallets are used by consumers to pay at the local stores as well as branded showrooms at big malls.
The OR codes have helped a growing nation like India handle its financial transactions smartly. With more and more buyers of smart phones across the country, the potential growth prospects of virtual wallets and hence the QR code system is ever increasing. Since we are never away from our smart phones throughout the day, a payment system that is enabled by the smart phone is always handy and reduces all risks associated with theft or misplacing of cash and credit/debit card. Hence the growing acceptance of this form of payment amongst the general public!