QR Code acts like a bar code, but it’s two dimensional and smarter. It also has a higher capacity of handling data. While conventional bar codes can store up to 20 digits, QR Code or “Quick Response” code hold up to several hundred times more. I’m very impressed with this Japanese innovation and I’m sure you’ll be too after you find out what it’s capable of.

You can decode QR Codes with a camera phone. VGA camera is good enough, no need of fancy 3 megapixel ones. You need to install a QR Code decoder on your phone, my favourites are i-nigma and Kaywa Reader. Here’s how to get them:

  • i-nigma: from your phone, point your browser to www.i-nigma.mobi and it’ll automatically detect the brand and model. Go to the next step to download and install it.
  • Kaywa Reader: same way as i-nigma, point your browser to http://reader.kaywa.com and follow the instructions. This reader is much more simpler than i-nigma, and I use it myself.

Now that you’ve installed one of the above programs, let’s decode a QR Code. Let’s try with this one:

Russell's QR Code

Decoded correctly, the code above would display my URL and will ask you if you want to visit or not. The same way, it can decode phone number and give you an option to call; decode SMS that can be sent on a preassigned number; decode contact information that can be added on your phone’s address book. And yes, simple texts can be encoded and decoded as well.

Generate your own QR Codes from this site or this one and play with it.