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A QR code (quick-response code) is a type of two-dimensional matrix barcode, invented in 1994, by Japanese company Denso Wave for labelling automobile parts. A QR code consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, including some fiducial markers, which can be read by an imaging device, such as a camera, and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted. The required data are then extracted from patterns that are present in both the horizontal and the vertical components of the QR image.
Whereas a barcode is a machine-readable optical image that contains information specific to the labelled item, the QR code contains the data for a locator, an identifier, and for web-tracking. To efficiently store data, QR codes use four standardized modes of encoding: (i) numeric, (ii) alphanumeric, (iii) byte or binary, and (iv) kanji. Compared to standard UPC barcodes, the QR labelling system was applied beyond the automobile industry because of faster reading of the optical image and greater data-storage capacity in applications such as product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, and general marketing.
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