The Code "QR" Defines our World

2 March 2022  |   QR CODE| Blockchain | Traceability


In India, QR codes rose to popularity on the backdrop of digital payments, including apps like PayTM BharatPe QR, which gave the Indian citizens a convenient method to make payments at stores or even pay their utility bills. Since then, the government and private organizations have discovered innovative ways to use QR codes to help the general larger community.

The coronavirus pandemic directed the widespread use of QR codes. The 2020 onset of a novel coronavirus pandemic resulted in global demand for a standard that could convey large amounts of information without humans touching physical items. QR codes provided such a solution. The more immediate benefits (around that time) offered by QR Codes are COVID-related. They are instrumental as a touch-free, socially distanced way of accepting payments and limiting physical interaction with customers. 

Diversity in Usage:  With access to mobile smartphones, the appeal of using QR codes in the modern market is likely to become the new normal and also a valuable investment tool. QR Codes have become a part of widespread use amongst different stakeholders with varying degrees of accomplishment. Besides payments, other large scale QR deployments include the Identity project, Document Authentication, Vaccine Certification, Covid-19/Diagnostic reporting standards, ticketing, media ads, brand engagements and product packaging, including traceability. 

Evolution of QR

QR code ( quick response code) is the matrix barcode (or the two-dimensional barcode)invented in 1994 by the Japanese automotive company Denso Wave. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label containing information about the item to which it is attached. In practice, QR codes often have data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application. A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary) to store data efficiently; extensions may also be used. 

The Quick Response system became popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity than standard UPC barcodes. Applications include product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, and general marketing.

A QR code consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background. An imaging device such as a camera can be read and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted. The required data is then extracted from patterns present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image.

There are no copyright or patent restrictions on using QR Codes, and you can use them for your personal use or commercial use.

DENSO WAVE, the inventor of QR Codes, has passed on the enforcement rights, so as long as the QR Code is in line with ISO and JIS standards, you should be fine.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the trending examples of QR applications across various dimensions: – 

A. Super Bowl commercials with QR code: 

Coinbase debuted a new commercial featuring a bouncing QR code during Super Bowl LVI that gained massive traction. The one-minute commercial by Coinbase showed a QR code bouncing from corner to corner of the television screen. Reports suggested that Coinbase shelled out $14 million for a minute-long advertisement to attract the spectators’ attention, all for a QR code.

The MAJOR TAKEAWAYS and talking points were because of: 

• Retro feel for the target audience

• CLEAR call-to-action

• Customer engagement

B. Research/Study Based Application at Vikram University

For the convenience of the students and visitors, QR codes are being installed on trees located on the campus, which was initiated by Dr Mukesh Vani of the Environmental Management School under the direction of its chairman, DM Kumawat. By scanning the QR code, meaningful information about the tree will be available. The QR code will also give information about the botanical, the local name of the tree, and information about its medicinal properties. The project was majorly undertaken to significantly benefit the researchers and students working in botany and agriculture.

C. Craftsmanship and Originality 

Authorities in Kashmir have launched a QR Code-based mechanism for the certification and labelling of handmade carpets for its region, famous worldwide for their rare craftsmanship and quality. The first of its kind in India would ensure customers get authentic Kashmiri carpets. 

Blockchain and QR.

IN A BLOCKCHAIN, secure QR codes can be considered just like the immutable ledger. And the benefit is that the validator-user can still validate without being part of a network (which is the requirement in Blockchain) as the verification is decentralized. 

The critical factor differentiating blockchain-based QR Codes from regular ones is their immense Blockchain technology after a QR code gets scanned. At the time of generation of the QR code, the system puts a unique hash value into the QR code. Now, when the user or even consumer scans the QR code to access the information or data, the system first cross-checks the hash value in the QR code. It compares the hash value of the QR code to the hash value of the Blockchain. If it matches, only then can the user access it. It makes the entire system incorruptible, immutable, self-patchable, self-expandable in the absence of negligible points of failure. The fact is once there is a hash value in the QR codes, nobody can even touch it.

The unique hash technology makes it challenging to hack the system as the attackers would require different computers to tamper with the data. The ways DNAs and fingerprints cannot be tampered with in any way; so are these unique hash values. You can never find any two hash values the same. Hence, it is clear that a blockchain-based QR code is safer than the general one, and they are undoubtedly a future-proofed solution.

Blockchain-enabled QR code provides a wealth of information to the users on the backdrop of Trust, Transparency and Traceability. The digital possibilities of QR codes and the potential to leverage them in commerce have become more mature over the last two years to bring visibility and transparency for all product movements across the supply chain. The proposed framework of TRST01 focuses on digitizing data of the entire supply chain management and then using these data in the Blockchain platform for traceability and accessibility by the consumer. 

The Main Benefits include traceability, data immutability, and trust creation.

Conclusion: In Industry 4.0, Consumers are more concerned about product use, provenance and sustainability. Over time, all available brands should provide the information or answers consumers seek. Hence on the application level, the blockchain value-addition to various brands and businesses will continue to rise as consumers demand accurate and trustworthy information. 


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