barcode cellphone close up coded

I was recently volunteering at a public event helping with the smooth entry of the public, this included assisting them QR into the venue. I was surprised how many people were unfamiliar or misunderstood the process. In many cases I found people were taking photos of the code thinking that was what was needed.

With Victoria moving to mandatory QR Check In, I thought a little information on this may be of help to our members.

What is a QR Code

A QR Code, (QR stands for Quick Response) it is an advanced form or bar code that can store up to 7089 digits or 4296 characters, including punctuation marks and special characters. The information stored can be quite complex, for example it could hold:

  • Paragraph of text
  • Link to website
  • Link to a Facebook page
  • A Part Number
  • and many other options

Most mobile devices can read and interpret the result. Our Smart phones can sometimes read it from the camera or a QR/Barcode Reader app may be needed.

This code stores some text. Go on, see if your smart phone can read it…

PS: A QR code has a few ways of representing the data, so the same information may be represented in different looking QR codes. Foe example the following 3 QR codes have the identical information.

How to read a QR Code

QR Codes are most easily read by a Smart Phone. Most (but not all) smart phones can read the code straight from the camera app, but many need a special reader app. Reading it is mostly a simple process BUT glare on the code can make it difficult for a camera to pick it up at times.

Scan a QR code with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open the Camera app from the Home screen, Control Center, or Lock screen.
  2. Select the rear facing camera. Hold your device so that the QR code appears in the viewfinder in the Camera app. Your device recognizes the QR code and shows a notification.
  3. Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code.

Note: If you do not see a notification pop up, the Scan QR Codes feature may be disabled. You can change this this by going to Settings > Camera and tapping the slider next to Scan QR Codes.

Scan a QR code with your Android Phone or Tablet.

  1. Open the Camera App
  2. Aim your camera at the QR code and make sure it is in focus
  3. Your QR code should automatically be scanned
  4. Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code.

Note: Older Android Devices may not have this feature in this case a QR Reader App may be needed.

Scan a QR code with and APP

Many older devices need an app to scan a QR Code. In my case I find a dedicated APP just works better.

To add the scanner to your device open your App or Play store locate a QR Code reader and install. Once installed they work in a similar way to the Camera, you scan usingthe app and then tap a notification.

On my android phone I use an App called QR Code & Barcode Scanner by QR EASY, it has no adds and just works as it should. A link to it is below.

I’m not an apple iPhone user so I’ve no experience with apps on the iPhone. However if your looking for a good QR scanner for the iPhone the Kaspersky’s QR Code Reader and Scanner is well though of. It also has a version for android.

The Kaspersky QR Scanner on top of being a good scanner also:

  • Checks the scanned link is safe
  • Warns you if dangers lie behind a QR code
  • Stores results of all your scans

Download Kaspersky QR Scanner from the App Store of Google Play

Part 2 of this article will cover the Victorian QR code check-in service by Services Victoria.

QR Codes – Part 1 – About QR Codes
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