Is it possible to run out of QR codes?

QR codes have swept back into the limelight as one of the most powerful ways to gather data and also make eCommerce safer. For three decades QR codes were viewed as a needlessly complex form of barcode - but now, given how easy modern smart devices make reading a QR code they are finding uses in a variety of industries.

But that has led people to ask whether or not we are actually overusing QR codes - and is there a danger that we will run out of QR codes to use? After all, most resources are finite.

The short answer is no - the supply of QR codes is not going to dry up. The question may arise because for many people the idea of the QR code is that it is just a square form of bar code - the reality is very different. A standard bar code stores 33 bits of information (in the form of a number). A standard QR code stores 23,000 bits of information meaning that the info can be represented by around 3,000 characters.

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That sort of 'next level' complexity means that the permutations are, in essence nearly limitless. It has been said that every person on the planet could assign a QR code to every photo and link they had - and we'd still have plenty more options. Then add a QR code to every product - and we would still not have run out.

As mentioned above, the usefulness of QR codes in the past was limited by computing power. Older phones that did have the ability to scan QR codes did not have the processing power to make mobile browsing using QR codes a realistic proposition. Today smartphones can provide a QR code link within under a second.

QR codes have also received a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many health workers, as well as the average person, become increasingly concerned about contact infection - and were not comfortable handling pieces of paper that others might have touched. QR codes to access information were the perfect solution. Learn more about how qr codes are useful in healthcare industry

So QR codes are back. They allow us to access scheduling information, menus, flyers, and info on special offers and allow us to run events more easily than ever before. they require no special equipment to read so they provide excellent value for money in a variety of applications.

QR codes are here to stay - and we're not going to be running out of them anytime soon.