Why another QR code service?

First of all, welcome to QropIt!

Okay why does the world need Yet Another QR Code Service?

We believe traditional QR codes are broken. Maybe broken is too strong a word, but it is flawed. A bit of history – QR code was invented by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994. This was before the proliferation of internet-enabled phones and devices. Because of that, QR codes were designed to have the data stored statically in the code itself. You scan the code, you see the text data. Surprisingly, there aren’t actual ISO standards for different QR code types like contact info, web URL, etc. There are only “de facto” standards and RFCs which are proposed standards (you can see some examples here and here).

So, what’s wrong with hardcoding the data directly into the QR code? The problem is the data cannot be changed once the QR code has been created. If you printed a business card with a QR code in it, and later your mobile number changed, you would need to reprint all the cards. If you create an advertising campaign with a QR code that goes to http://www.mycompany.com/AwesomeCampaign2011, what do you do when the campaign is over? Sure, you can create a URL redirect on the server and keep that, but who wants to have a bunch of old redirects on their website? A better solution is to change where the QR code points to.

So our solution is to not store the actual data in the QR code, but rather a link to the actual data. This opens the door to a bunch of really cool features:

  • Our QR codes can be activated and deactivated at any time. Heck, if we wanted to we can create a QR code that goes to a website in the day, but plays a YouTube video at night. Not sure why we would want to do that, but it can be done.
  • Our QR codes can be edited and modified at any time.
  • We can return different results based on the users’ location, phone model or other criteria.
  • We can provide detailed scanning analytics. Put our QR code on your business card, and you can see how many people scanned it and from where.

Best of all, our QR codes are backwards compatible with all QR code scanners.

So what’s the downside? Well, our QR codes require an internet connection to decode. But considering that the vast majority of QR codes scanned are URLs which require an internet connection anyway, we don’t see this as much of an issue.

We have some other tricks up our sleeves which we will reveal in future blog entries.

And oh yeah, we call our enhanced QR codes qrops.