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What is a QR code?

QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.

Invented in Japan by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, the QR Code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. It was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

If you have a smartphone like an iPhone, Android or Blackberry then there a number of different barcode scanner applications such as Red Laser, Barcode Scanner and QR Scanner that can read and decode data from a QR code. The majority of these are completely FREE, and all you have to do once you install one is to use your phone's camera to scan the barcode, which will then automatically load the encoded data for you.

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