There are some key reasons why QR codes were adopted in Japan and why you
will not see it have similar success in other markets. Let me try to explain
why, I apologize for the length of the email but it is a pretty involved
First some background I am with a company called Nextcode Corporation based
in the US, www.nextcodecorp.com, we have been doing extensive work with QR
codes as well as other code formats, for over four years and have developed
and sold QR encoding and decoding software in Japan and the US. Our only
business is creating code scanning and code creation software for camera
QR code was first developed by Denso for automotive applications. The code
was at its inception designed for industrial purposes like encoding shipping
containers. The code contains a compression schema that is suited to
encoding Kanji which is not available in Data Matrix. The designers of the
code did not envision that QR would be used for consumer applications. They
expected that to decode the code one would use an industrial scanner. Also
some of the issues of integrating codes into consumer publications like
advertising, directories, etc. where space, code shape or aesthetics were
important were never considered.
The industrial legacy of QR represents huge limitations for consumer
applications. For example: Codes are always square, the minimum QR code size
is 21x21, sizes grow at arbitrary 4 module per side increments, 21x21,
25x25, 29x29, etc. Further the finder pattern (the square "eyes") of the
code is both inefficient and very industry looking. As a result, one needs
to use a QR code that is much larger and takes up much more space than it
ideally should for consumer applications. If you were putting a QR code on a
shipping container who cares.
However in consumer applications and integration with advertising, space
ease of use and aesthetics are serious issues.
Because Japan moved very fast to adopt code scanning, there were no other
good 2D code options available other than QR. To overcome the inefficiencies
and constraints of QR Japanese handset manufacturers introduced macro focus
lenses. By putting much better optics and macro capabilities into the phones
one is able to shrink down the QR code to fit it into places that it would
otherwise not be able to be used.
Outside Japan, few handsets are being shipped with macro lenses. Macro
lenses drive up cost and introduce usability issues. Just take a look at the
handsets sold by Nokia and Motorola as an example, none have macro lenses.
Also, higher resolution imagers do not solve the problem of defocus that
creates too much blur to make a small code readable. While there are many
other issues with QR code that make it sub-optimal for consumer applications
I don't have time to address them all.
To solve these issues other code formats are being introduced, you can find
ColorCode from Color Zip and ShotCode which was originally called Spot Code.
These codes become more readable with standard camera phones by greatly
reducing the amount to data that one can encode and then linking to
Server-based information. They only carry only about 50 bits (including
error detection/correction) or so of data far less than even the smallest QR
code. They have applications but are in no way a realistic replacement for
Warning promotional message ahead: To try to solve some of these issues, my
firm spent years working on a consumer code format called mCode which is
specifically designed for camera phones and mobile applications. We have
recently launched our service called ConnexTo. We provide a free code
creation tool online at www.ConnexTo.com and one can download a free code
reader client application from our WAP site. If you are interested you can
see how we have approached this quite differently than the way QR works.
Because we do not require special optics it opens up lots of applications
and markets that would be blocked were they to rely on QR. Further our code
is designed to anticipate low quality optics and consumer use cases. There
is plenty of info online if you are interested.
From: keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net [mailto:keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net]
On Behalf Of Christopher Billich
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 7:05 AM
Subject: (keitai-l) AW: Re: QR codes - used outside of Japan yet?
I don't know about QR and other b/w 2D codes in this respect, but color
codes work with much lower-resolution cameras than those, so from a
technological POV you wouldn't have a problem on most European handsets.
As far as user adoption of mobile content in Europe in general goes, that's
another story entirely, of course.
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net
> [mailto:keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net] Im Auftrag von Gerhard Fasol
> Gesendet: Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2006 15:00
> An: keitai-l_at_appelsiini.net
> Betreff: (keitai-l) Re: QR codes - used outside of Japan yet?
> Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
> > Wow. I guess I hadn't realized that cameraphones elsewhere were
> > that far behind relative to the ones in use here and in Korea.
> yes. If you look at Camera-phones, data transmission speed,
> and several other factors, Japan is about 3-5 years ahead,
> or maybe even more.
> Gerhard Fasol, PhD Eurotechnology Japan K. K.
> http://fasol.com/ http://www.eurotechnology.com/
> This mail was sent to address 24h_at_billich.biz
> Need archives? How to unsubscribe?
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.371 / Virus Database: 267.14.17/227 - Release
> Date: 11.01.2006
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.371 / Virus Database: 267.14.17/227 - Release Date: 11.01.2006
This mail was sent to address jlevinger_at_nextcodecorp.com
Need archives? How to unsubscribe? http://www.appelsiini.net/keitai-l/
Received on Thu Jan 12 17:34:21 2006