QRStuff.com - QR Code Generator

How To Make A Google Places Page QR Code

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Generating QR Codes, How To Make A Google Places Page QR Code, How To Make A Google Places Page QR Code, QR Codes Use Cases | 1 Comment »

The mobile version of a Google Places™ business listing page can be difficult to find and link to, but by using a combination of the link tool in your Google Places™ page, a slight modification to the URL provided by the linking tool, and a QR code, you can give your mobile-enabled customers simple and immediate access to your business information with just a simple 5 step process.

  1. Go to your Google Places™ page and click the link icon in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Copy the URL provided by the Link Tool.

  1. Paste the URL provided by the Link Tool into a text editor and remove the bits highlighted in yellow so that it looks like the second URL shown. Why? The URL provided by the Link Tool displays your Places page in a desktop browser but goes to a Google Map™ on a mobile device. By modifying the URL in the manner shown it becomes the URL of the mobile version of your Google Places™ page instead.
    • Remove the “maps.” including the full stop
    • Remove “aps” from the second instance of “maps”
    • Remove all of the “q=xxxx” bit including the trailing “&”

  1. Got to www.qrstuff.com, select the “Website URL” data type and paste the modified URL from Step #3 into the “Website URL” input box
  2. Click the “Download Image” button to download your QR code image. That’s it – all done!

And here’s an example of the resulting QR code:

Google Places™ is a trademark of Google Inc.

QR Code Minimum Size

Posted: November 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Generating QR Codes, QR Code Minimum Size | 6 Comments »

In my previous post,  What Size Should A Printed QR Code Be, I mentioned that it wasn’t the size of the QR code image that determined the minimum size at which a QR code could be scanned, it was actually the size of the modules (the little black squares) that make up the QR code image. If the size of the modules fall below the resolution limit of the camera then the QR code won’t be able to be read by the device.

A fundamental part of the way QR codes work is that the more data you put into them, the more rows and columns of modules will be introduced into the QR code to compensate for the increased data load. Hence, for a QR code image of a certain size (width), the more data it contains, the more rows and columns of modules it has and, logically, the smaller each of the modules then become as a result.

So it’s all about whether the camera can actually “see” the smallest element in the QR image – the individual modules.

Another factor that influences minimum QR code size is the scanning distance – the distance the phone is held away from the QR code image. The further away the QR code is, the smaller it appears in the camera viewport, and so the smaller the modules will appear too. Once again, if the camera is held too far away, the modules become too small for the camera to read and the QR code won’t work.

The following table shows the theoretical minimum width of a printed QR code image for a given scanning distance, based on the minimum size an individual module needs to be when viewed by the camera. The assumptions here are that an 3-4 megapixel camera is being used (lower resolution cameras would need the QR code image to be even larger to “see” it), and a black QR code on a white background is being used.

The data shown is:

  • Modules: Number of rows and columns of little black squares in the QR code image.
  • Characters: Approximate number of characters that would normally fit into a QR code with that many modules using binary data encoding (most do) and Level L error correction.
  • Scan Distance: The distance the camera is being held away from the printed QR code.

So for instance, a QR code image with 72 characters of data would end up with 35 rows and columns of modules, and would need to be 42mm (1.7″) wide to be successfully scanned from 300mm (12″) away, but only 21mm (0.8″) wide if the scanning device was only 150mm (6″) away.

QR Code Minimum Size
Modules Characters Scan Distance
150mm (6″) 300mm (12″) 450mm (18″)
25 26 15mm (0.6″) 30mm (1.2″) 46mm (1.8″)
30 49 18mm (0.7″) 36mm (1.4″) 55mm (2.1″)
35 72 21mm (0.8″) 42mm (1.7″) 64mm (2.5″)
40 98 24mm (0.9″) 48mm (1.9″) 73mm (2.9″)
45 125 27mm (1.1″) 54mm (2.1″) 82mm (3.2″)
50 163 30mm (1.2″) 60mm (2.4″) 91mm (3.6″)
55 203 33mm (1.3″) 66mm (2.6″) 100mm (3.9″)
60 249 36mm (1.4″) 72mm (2.8″) 109mm (4.3″)
65 298 39mm (1.5″) 78mm (3.1″) 118mm (4.7″)
70 351 42mm (1.7″) 84mm (3.3″) 127mm (5.0″)
75 407 45mm (1.8″) 90mm (3.5″) 137mm (5.4″)
80 468 48mm (1.9″) 96mm (3.8″) 146mm (5.7″)
85 534 51mm (2.0″) 102mm (4.0″) 155mm (6.1″)
90 601 54mm (2.1″) 108mm (4.3″) 164mm (6.4″)
95 669 57mm (2.2″) 114mm (4.5″) 173mm (6.8″)
100 739 60mm (2.4″) 120mm (4.7″) 182mm (7.2″)

Here’s a few examples to give you an idea of what QR codes look like as their data load gets higher, resulting in the modules getting smaller and the QR code image becoming more dense.

Subscribers Get More QR Stuff!

Become a QR Stuff paid subscriber and get unlimited QR codes, unlimited scans, analytics reporting, editable dynamic QR codes, high resolution and vector QR code images, batch processing, password-protected QR codes, QR code styling, QR code pausing and scheduling and more, for one low subscription fee.

Full subscriptions start from just $11.95 for a 1 month subscription (lower monthly rates for longer periods) or you can set up a 24 hour trial subscription for $3.95 to check out what we can do for you. Subscribe now.

Subscribe Now


How A QR Code Can Help You Find Your Keys

Posted: October 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: General, Generating QR Codes, How A QR Code Can Help You Find Your Keys | No Comments »

Pumping Station One recently feature a post on attaching a QR code to your keychain that will allow someone to scan the QR code on the keychain fob and automatically send you a text message that they found your keys, with their phone number included so you can call them and arrange to get your keys back.

QR Code Keychain. Photo has been altered to protect the encoded phone number. Image: Pumping Station One.

While they mentioned QR Stuff as a place to be able to create this sort of QR code (thanks guys!), I thought I’d go through the process of exactly how to create a QR code containing a pre-formatted text message.

  1. Go to QR Stuff  and in column 1 (Data Type) choose “SMS Message”
  2. In column 2 (Content) enter your phone number and the message you would like to receive (eg; “I found your keys!”)
  3. Click on the “Download This Image” link under the preview image.

Creating An SMS QR Code

You now have a QR code with a pre-formatted text message in it that’s ready to be sent back to you from the phone of the person who found your keys and then scanned the QR code you attached to them. Of course, by them sending you the text message, you also now have their phone number in your phone so you can ring them back and arrange to go get your keys from them. Easy!

The Pumping Station One blog post also went into technical detail about how you could make your own acrylic keyring fob with the QR code engraved on it, but if you don’t have a laser cutter lying around you could just get one of those square clear plastic ones that allow you put a photo in them, and put a paper print of your QR code in it instead.

The possibilities of this sort of QR code go way beyond attaching them to your keychain. Obviously you could attach one to anything else that has a habit of getting lost (like pets or small children), but having a QR code containing a text message pre-configured so that the person scanning it just has to press “Send” for it to come back to you (together with the senders phone number) would be handy for:

  • Sales – On advertising material promoting the new model and containing the  message “I’d like to test drive the new 2011 Camaro” that comes back to salesman’s phone.
  • User Support – On the printed instructions for a product with the caption “Need help? Scan this and we’ll ring you back”. The QR code would contain a message like “I need help with product XYZ” and would be pre-coded with the cell number for your customer support team.
  • On-Request Product Upgrades – Where a paid option is available for a free service this sort of QR code could be included when the free service is delivered with a call to action “Upgrade Now” which would follow through to a call-back to the customer by the sales team.
  • Opt-In SMS Registration – A QR code containing the message “Yes, send me SMS product updates”. Since the phone number of the sender is included in the return message, they can then be easily included in the SMS customer database for the approved delivery of future messages/promotions by SMS.

So, while a QR code containing a pre-formatted text message can actually help you find your lost keys, this sort of QR code opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the savvy marketer.

QR Codes: What Smartphones Are Being Used For Scanning?

Posted: August 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: QR Codes: What Smartphones Are Being Used For Scanning? | No Comments »

The dominance of iPhones over Androids as the most popular QR code scanning device has continued to increase over the past 6 months based on figures from our database of recorded scan events.

While the Android was the preferred choice prior to February this year, their share has been decreasing steadily since August last year to the point where last month there were 1.9 scans on an iPhone for every one on an Android. Both Blackberry and Windows devices are struggling along with just over 10% and well under 5% respectively.

Considering the number of Android devices out there compared to iPhones, I’ll leave it up to the marketing guys to explain why the numbers stack up the way they do. It could be the demographics of iPhone vs Android users, the relative ease of use (and quality) of the scanning apps available for each platform, or a device-specific bias caused by many placements only showing an iTunes logo in the instructions on how to use the QR code. Who knows?

QR Code Scans By Device Type

Just a quick note – unlike may other QR code generation platforms, I don’t force my users to use our URL shortener (a short URL redirection is the standard method for collecting analytics). When given the option of encoding their own website URL directly into the QR code, rather than one of our short URL’s which then redirects to their website address, 80% of users choose the former.  As a result our data set only includes analytics data for 20% of the QR codes containing website URL’s that QR Stuff users have created over the past 6 months.

Having said that, the number of scan events in the data set is still statistically significant – the encoding preferences of the person creating the QR code are a variable that’s completely independent of the phone preference of the person scanning the QR code.

By the way, if you’re curious about why people would choose not to use a URL shortener, see my previous article on Using Google Analytics With QR Codes for a few very good reasons.

UPDATE: Received an interesting email from Eddy Hagen at the Flemish Innovation Center for Graphic Communications with a possible explanation for the large number of iPhone scans showing up in the figures:

We at VIGC have done some testing over the last few months and probably the answer is the following: most (over 75%!) of the QR-codes in magazines, newspapers, brochures can’t be scanned with an average smart phone (e.g. my Nokia E52). Many QR-codes are printed too small, which make them only scannable with smart phones that have a very good camera and macro / zooming capabilities, so the newest iPhones (and alikes). That might be the reason why your figures are not corresponding the number of devices/distribution of devices that are out there.