What is a QR code?

QR code is everywhere in our lives; this 2-dimensional barcode is often found in print works and can get you to open URLs quickly. It’s only been lately that we use our phone to scan a QR code we find, but little did we know that QR–Quick Response–code was first designed in 1994 (that’s 24 years ago!) in Japan for the automotive industry. Back then, QR code uses four standardized encoding modes: numeric, alphanumeric, binary and kanji, to store data efficiently. 

This invention quickly became popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and vast storage capacity compared to the traditional lines-style barcodes. In 2010, QR codes started to enter the U.S. and Europe where they are mostly seen in advertisements. Instead of using a long and targeted sales pitch that may lose the viewers’ interest right away, numerous brands use this QR code technology to increase their conversion rate, making it easier to direct customers to their website immediately.

The technology progressed exponentially in China where you can see many street vendors use this QR code to facilitate their payment system, or as known as “Pay by QR” there. The codes are now capable of storing bank information of a particular vendor to receive payment instantly. 

Here in U-bicycle, we employ the use of QR code differently. U-bicycle users unlock the smart bikes instantly by scanning the bike’s QR code. This is made possible by the seamless integration between the QR code with the GPS system, cloud platform, smart beacon technology, and the U-bicycle app. From the operational point of view, U-bicycle can then remotely monitor the shared bikes using this beacon tech, realizing visualization operation and manage the bike fleets efficiently.  

Never used a QR code before? Use your phone’s camera and try it now!

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By Robert Tanra

Business Development Specialist