2D Barcodes

So what is a 2D barcode you may be asking. It's something which is not so common in Australia (yet!), but has been a big hit overseas for various reasons. 2D barcode use overseas in countries such as Japan, USA and even UK, is quite common.

Amazingly, we're most likely all SEEN a 2D barcode somewhere, but it's probably just never registered as to what it is. In Australia, we see them all the time on our mail, lotto tickets and scratchies. In the last few months, there has been a surge in the push for the use of QR codes in Australia. In fact, bigger corporations such as Toyota have started using QR codes in print advertising!!

Other common uses for barcodes overseas include:
- Magazines/Catalogues 
- ID Cards
- Linking URLs to websites
- Business Cards
- Posters
- Advertising

The barcodes which we have used for our testing are called mCode and QR Code. Our reader programs for the barcodes are ConnexTo (mCode) and Kaywa Reader (QR).


mCode is a new 2D barcode which has been designed by NextCode Corporation, specifically to work with mobile phones and mobile services. It is said to be faster and more reliable than other barcodes, while also having the capability to carry more data than more traditional barcodes.

mCode barcodes can be used to generate URLs to access WAP or websites, to code SMS messages with stored phone numbers to auto dial, and also to contain contact information for business cards etc.

The program which is used to read mCode is called ConnexTo and can be downloaded from http://www.connexto.com/Join.aspx for free. Please check to see whether or not your phone is compatible before downloading. An mCode generator is also available on the website so that you can make your own codes!

QR Codes

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are matrix barcodes which were created in 1994 by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave. The creator intended for the contents of the code to be decoded and read at high speeds. They are extremely common in Japan, and are currently the most popular type of 2D barcode, frequenting in magazines, business cards and even on food packaging and labels.

A single QR Code has a data capacity of 4,296 alphanumeric characters, or 1,817 Japanese Kanji characters. QR Codes are usually black and white, although can sometmes appear in colour or have logos and photos incorporated into them. In more recent times, Micro QR codes (data capacity 35 characters) and Voice QR codes have made an emergence.

A program which can be used to read  QR Codes is called Kaywa and can be downloaded from http://reader.kaywa.com/ for free. A free QR generator is available off the Kaywa website. Please check to see whether or not your phone is compatible before downloading. Another QR Code reading program is Quikmark and can be downloaded from http://www.quickmark.com.tw/En/basic/download.asp.