Thank you, Denso Wave!
Thank you for (1) inventing the Quick Response Code and (2) not enforcing the patent, so that we can use these digital ninjas openly, easily and universally.
Back in 1994, the Japanese company Denso Wave invented an advanced bar code that holds information in two directions (versus the one-dimensional bar codes we’re used to seeing on labels of cans of creamed corn). Because these interesting, pixelated squares are two-dimensional, the amount of digital data they carry is pretty impressive.One little code can tell you alotta of things with a simple scan by the appropriate scanning device.
Denso Wave drummed up the technology as a solution for tracking parts during the auto manufacturing process, but the company clearly saw the possibilities of QR codes for vast and universal application. Since 1994, Denso has fed the root system to grow this versatile technology while also encouraging its advancement around the world.
QR codes can be scanned and ‘read’ by apps on smartphones. Japanese consumers have had access to and, thus, have been avid users of smartphones for a while now. That means they’ve been able to enjoy the scanning power of QR codes and have long since integrated them into their culture at the consumer level. Here in the U.S., we’re just now beginning to shift the pendulum on smartphone adoption, and, in tandem, QR code usage is nearing a tipping point as well.
I was in love the first time I laid eyes on a QR code. As somebody who gets paid to create digital content and online marketing solutions, I thrilled at the idea of merging my digital creations with the physical world. Heck, I even structured an entire business around QR codes, I like ’em so much. Understanding the history of the codes gives some good insight as we all join in creating their future.