Thursday, May 30, 2013

QR Codes for certified jewelry

Quote for the movie Blood Diamond "And where is my proof?"
    The International Gemological Institute (IGI) announced it now provides QR (quick response) codes for IGI-certified jewelry. The code will link to an article’s unique IGI report, which can be conveniently viewed with a smartphone. [1]
This service is a great way to utilize QR Codes, to bring products closer to people. Jewelry like diamonds, in combination with precious metals in the form of a ring or pendant holds a lot of value.... If there is proof.

Proof that is is real, proof that the quality is as mentioned.

Certification of such products is needed to deliver this proof. When buying or selling the presence of this certificate will definitely speed up the transaction process.

If this certification per product is placed online, and accessible via a QR Code, you could just place various pieces of jewelry in your storefront, with just a little QR Code accompanying the product.
By just scanning the QR Code your (potential) customer will be able to see the certification of the piece displayed.

A nice service that can be easily be enhanced by using a branded QR Code, with a company logo, or an image displaying the product itself.

[1] Quoted from

Friday, May 24, 2013

QR Code tags versus illegal copying.

Quote from the movie limitless: "I am taking special medication."

I just read a good blog entry about how tags, and especially Qr Codes could help to fight fraud. This article can be found following this link

QR Codes as tags on articles in a store that will lead you to the manufactures site to not only find out specifics about the product, but also that the product in question actually is a genuine product.

For example medication in drug stores. Just scan the box and be able to read a medicine specifics, risks in usage, side effects, prohibited combinations with other medication.

The only question in relation to fraudulent products is how to make sure that not only the product, but also the tag is not being copied, linking to a bogus website?

Using a branded QR Code will add just a little bit extra of confidence.If your branded QR Codes shows the same image as your companies logo, the product and website will create just a little extra genuine feeling.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The facets of QR Codes

From the movie Aladdin: "Seek thee out the diamond in the rough."

The art with diamonds is to cut the facets so the light return is maximized through the top of the diamond, giving and exceptional brilliance..

A QR Code is build up with black and white elements that can be translated to a binary number notation. The number of facets or possibilities that can build up a valid QR Code are therefore a power of two.

The current displayed code, a version 3, medium error correction, can hold 44 bytes. that is 44 * 8 equals 352 bits.

2 to the power of 352 (2 **352) thus

valid possibilities, for only one version of qr code.

This number will be slightly limited when the content also needs to have some relevant information or when a graphic is inserted, but we will not run out of valid (custom) qr codes any time soon.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

QR Code generator...... Part two

Quote from the movie Babe: "But no sooner do l become indispensable than they bring in a machine to do the job"

In my last entry I have been explaining why I'd prefer not to use a tool to generate Customized QR Codes. Not much sooner I got an inquiry if it was possible to make a customized QR code with a branding signature that could be reused. I offer this service as the Re-Use option that is explained on my website.

To make one code with a minimal number of copies with different links is still something that can be done, but what if the number of copies could run into the hundreds, thousand, tens of thousands? At that stage a tool to make these copies would be the better alternative.

I have been looking for ways to setup this service for some time now, and quickly found out that if I wanted to offer this service, it needs to be available 24/7. Since I cannot guarantee that I am available 24/7, the tool needs to be an online tool.

The first version of this tool can now be found at I already used the python programming language for the automated tasks of making an error free Custom QR Code. 'Python anywhere' is an online service that combines part of these tools with a web-interface.

Use the demo account to see the tool in action. This account generates a copy of the displayed Twitter QR Code, where the content in the code can be to your specifications.

If you require this kind of service, where you need a branded qr-code with multiple copies, please contact me for the possibilities.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

QR Code generator.........

Quote from the movie Highlander II: "I guess if you want something have to do it yourself."

I occasionally get an inquiry why my services for the generation of custom QR Codes is not avallable as an online service.Although I have been looking into this, there are just too many variables that prevent to offer the same quality in the services when using an online tool. Moving or scaling a graphic slightly when placing it in  a QR Code could make a big difference when trying to generate an fast scanning and error free result.

A work of art and beauty is generated from inspiration, experience and determination.

If someone can capture these traits in a couple of lines of computer code.......

The idea behind customizing QR Codes is to make a single code unique in a way that is visual recognizable by the human eye. As soon as this service is made into a tool, the unique factor is compromised.  Therefore I have decided not to put too much effort into an online version of my services, but too focus into fine tuning my existing tools too reduce the development time of these codes.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The QR Code gamble.

Quote from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End:
    "Aye, but that's a gamble of luck now, ain't it?"
I wrote about tracking of QR Codes lately, but what I also do is tracking of my blog and homepage using Google Analytics. It is always nice to know how well I'm being visited, and where the traffic originates from.
So when I got a sudden boost in visitors lately I needed to check how this traffic originated.

Since I started with the Customized QR Codes, I've been making a lot of example QR Codes. By using my website, blog and social media these codes have been send into the dark corners of the internet. The intent of releasing these codes was to generate attention towards my work, my site and my blog.

The sudden increase originated from the following website:
Qriket is a application for the iOS platform. With this app it is possible to make money when scanning QR Codes, any QR Code. A QR Code scanned starts a 'slot machine' with the chance to win money instantly. If  you didn't win, there is always the magic wand (10 are awarded to your account every day, and bonus wand can be won as well) to still make money with 50/50 chance. Followed by a double of nothing game to increase your profit.

It seems that each scanned code generates a token for a single play. But there is more, adding friends to your account gives you the possibility of rescanning the codes they scanned, generating a game token for yourself. You don't see the actual QR Code that has been scanned, but just revisit the information in the original QR Code. About 10% of the screen shows the information generated by scanning the QR Code, with a possibility to display this full screen.

Fun to do? Well, yes, if you are into gambling and gaming Apps.. Beneficial for the QR Code that is scanned, and the information that is in this QR Code? Well, no, the bounce rate of the traffic from Qriket was close to 100 percent, indicating that my website and blog was not actually visited. The rescan function generates even more traffic by people who never actually seen the QR Code or the article, advert, etc. that displayed this code.

At least for Qriket and some of their players this setup has been beneficial, they already awarded more that $1.000.000 in price money since their launch in July 2012. The information Qriket is accumulating with this service must be worth its bits and bytes in gold.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Advanced QR Code tracking.

Quote from the movie Alien: "I've taken care of that. I've designed this tracking device."

Unlike in the movie, tracking monsters is not the intention with QR Codes. The QR Codes being a ideal bridge between the normal world and the internet, usage of QR Codes scanning provides a lot of traceable data while being scanned.

When starting a marketing campaign, it is very useful to measure it's impact.

While surfing on the internet free information like: browser, operating system, referrals, locations, etc is all being transferred when a webpage is visited. This information can be stored, analyzed and processed so that the campaign that is running can be fine tuned for an even bigger impact.

A QR Code on printed material, when scanned, generates access to the same information.

There are a few companies on the internet that will provide this service of retrieving and processing this information. The QR Code just has to be linked through their system.

One of these companies is ProQr. I have checked out their demo, and found that besides tracking and analyzing ProQr offers more services when running the QR Codes through their system.
Besides linking to a (mobile) webpage; pre-formatted email, phone number, text message, Facebook and Twitter functions are also available.
One of the many features offered is changing the behavior of a single code on the fly, in your own online dashboard environment, a feature commonly known as dynamic QR Code.

    For instance, you have a QR Code that returns a phone number, this code can be relinked to a webpage informing that you are on holiday for the next week. Just link it back to return your phone number when you are back.
The dashboard functions include real time data analysis with graphical display for usage and location in combination with filter options.

If you are in need of a campaign in combination with QR Codes I would advice to request the free demo access to try and test all these functions and services for yourself.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Unlocking QR Code secrets.

Quote from the movie X-Men: First Class: "To unlock your power. To make you embrace it."

QR Code defines the word element for the room used for a single black or white squire.
When a image is drawn using only squires this raises the following question.

How to make rounded corners in graphics?

Using the size of the qr code's elements, the qr code itself can be drawn in a grid. Each grid position will be build up using a number of pixels.

The red lines show the grid size of 10 * 10 pixels. By making sure a single grid point or element is predominantly light or dark, the edges of the grid can be used to insert more detail on a inserted graphic.

The detail drawing shows the changes in the graphics showing the key, this key has been deliberately being drawn off grid. resulting in some 50% light/dark elements.

After inserting these pictures, the QR code content and error correction is recalculated to result in a fast scanning and error free code. Since the error correction has been made intact again even if a grid point that is 50% light/dark (this element could be read incorrectly depending on reader app, light conditions, paper conditions, angle etc) is misread this single element will be corrected by the remaining error correction capability.

On my site a lot more examples of what is graphically possible with QR Codes can be found in the gallery.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The QR Code game.

Quote from the movie National Treasure: Book of Secrets: "Does not matter whether it is true. -- Give me a list of approved locations."
The way QR codes can be enhanced is to use the redundant part of the QR Code, change the information there to by creating a graphic, and recalculate the error correction to keep the code error free.

Keeping the error correction intact results in a faster scanning, and more compatible code in relation to various readers.

There is another benefit of using this approach. 

It makes it possible to integrate multiple graphics on multiple locations in one single QR Code. This example shows a tic-tac-toe game in progress, and the word 'tic' 'tac' and 'toe' are also displayed on various locations around the graphic.

For more Custom QR Codes and more information, please visit my site.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Online or offline?

Quote from the movie I am number four:"Keep the photos? They're already all over the Internet!"

Qr Codes are placeholders for information. The initial usage of qr codes was in the automobile industry, were parts were tracked during the production line. The content of these QR Codes would most likely not link to a site on the internet.

Some prefixes, that are also used in websites will transform the content of a QR Code from a message to an instruction. Some of these prefixes are
  • "tel:" for a telephone number.
  • "mailto:" for a email address.
  • "http://" to indicate an URL.
When using a prefix that requires internet access, like for mail or an URL, the amount of information that van be transferred using the QR Code is increased, everything is on the internet these day's. The tradeoff off course is that upon scanning an active internet connection is mandatory.

When requiring a (Custom) Qr Code ask yourself what kind of information needs to be transferred. If all the information can be placed in a single offline QR Code this might be a better alternative than a link to a internet site. See the example where the content of the code is just a phone number. This code will work even if there is no internet coverage.

For your both online or offline codes that require graphical enhancement, please visit my site to see more examples of Custom QR Codes with the error correction intact for fast and reliable scanning.