QR codes were first designed in 1994 in Japan by the automotive industry and is a type of optical label that is readable only by machines and uses four standardized encoding modes, numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, or kanji. These modes then store the data that is then interpreted by the into a location, identifier, or tracker. This type of code is able to then direct the reader to a website or other application right on their phone.
At first QR codes were used only in the automotive industry but because of their multi-functionality, their use grew outside of that industry into others. The most common type of QR code that people are familiar with consists of 2×2 squares that are usually black in color and arranged on a square grid over a white background that is then read by a camera reader on someone’s phone. The code is processed by a group of error-correcting codes known as the Reed-Solomon codes that are also used in CDS, DVD, and Blue-ray discs as well as other types of data transmission technologies.
QR codes are used in all types of consumer advertising because it allows the viewer to be transported nearly instantly to a brands website or App. which has been known to increase the conversion rate of display ads because it functions similarly to call to action and at a time when they are tuned in to the advertisement. QR codes are frequently used to send payment or can be used in restaurants to do green and germ-free menus.
For more information on what is a QR Code please see this additional post