Not all QR Codes are QRe8'ed equally

Last updated by erik 8 years 51 weeks ago
Complex QR Code

When we developed the platform and QR Code generator we had 2 major objectives:

  1. Make the process as easy as possible for our clients
  2. Create QR codes that have a scan success rate as close to 100% as possible

For sure, there will always be scan scenarios that will have nothing to do with the scanability of our codes themselves. Such variables may include phone type and model, the code reader, the size of code, the printed element, the screen monitor, the sunlight, the moon, the reflection, the user and on it goes… while beyond our control, they’re all factors in campaign success – and always figure into our product development.

That said, we’re obsessed with what is in our control. Specifically, we’ve worked painstakingly to provide our clients with a QR Code generator that will produce the most scannable QR codes possible.

We offer the following comparisons to drive our point – the first was created using the QRe8 generator.
The second code was created using a competitor’s generator. The URL embedded into each code is

code comparison

Note, is a fairly short url. Now check out another example of 2 codes. The URL embedded in each codes is:

code comparison #2

As you can see the platform shrinks the URL and therefore the data within the code thus we are able to produce ‘data light codes’ that are fully trackable through the QRe8 platform.

So what are the benefits of ‘data light codes’? We held our first QR Code boxing match to find out.

Our Process

- Each code was tested in daylight and at the same time

- Each code was tested off a MacBook monitor

- Each code was tested on the iPhone

- Each code was tested using the Quickmark, i-Nigma and Beetagg readers

- Each code was tested at 3 pixel sizes (150x150, 300x300, 450x450)

- Each code was tested at 3 distances (6 inches, 12 inches, 18 inches)

Our Observations








Our Findings

Our simple test shows the complexity of code #2 (in terms of the incorporated data) which can make scanning more problematic. Because of the detail in order for the scanning to work, the reader needs to position very close to the code, or conversely, the code needs to be blown up to a large size. The iPhone tends to get very unfocused if placed up to close to an object so this is also not a guaranteed option.

A more simplified code does not require as much focus, which means smaller codes can be successfully scanned from a range of distances. Also consider that certain readers such as the Beetagg do not have an automatic capture function. In the case of non-automatic readers, therefore, more complex codes may need to be captured multiple times before the code eventually scans.

Our Conclusion

When creating codes for marketing campaign applications—whether for a billboard or business card, a bus shelter or product package—always ensure that the code you are using is simple and uncluttered in terms of the graphic data within the code itself. After a code is launched into market many variables beyond our control will partly determine success. Marketers should do what they can to ensure their codes will have the highest possible scan rate. Fortunately, achieving this is in our control.


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