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We have seen during 2007 some projects oriented to link an ID (number) to a URL embedded into a 2D Code. Shotcode, Shortcode or Mobiletag are maybe the most relevant.

It may seem trivial, but the character limitation of QR-Codes can make the process of embedding a URL into a QR-Code an inefficient task, because the more data we embed the bigger the code will be. In other words, in many cases we will need more physical space (mm2) than the one we have available in order to fit the full web address.


These projects have focused in reducing the required area to the minimum in order to embed a QR in an acceptable space efficient manner.

This may seem a good idea, but when applied has turned out to have some problems:

  • You need a special reader (their reader) and connecting to a server (their server) in order to associate and after be able to read those codes.
  • Not-free
  • Nokia barcode reader application that comer with Nokia N95 does not read these codes and shows only a number.
  • They don’t seem neither to be supported nor related with the rest of the mobile industry. They are not present either in open-source projects such us Zxing.

This business model would be like starting a phone operator with your own number system, own terminals and hoping that everyone will buy it. It is understandable but with very bad odds. In the other hand, this is holding up the development of this market, confusing the end-user and making more complex the standardization process.
We believe that an efficient construction of the URLs to be embedded (Ex. using the IP + a numerical directory) and the constant improvement of optics and macros on the cellphones will turn down this kind of projects.

Technical documents on compression levels and QR-Codes sizes from Denso Wave:

Compression levels – http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/qrstandard-e.html

Module sizes – http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/qrgene3-e.html

Micro QR – http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/microqr-e.html

We do believe that QR future as well as satellite business models will be based on using them, developing applications or building professional readers, just like Denso-wave (the company that invented them) is doing. 2D codes are means not goals by themselves.

Note: As we have said before, if there is any wrong or inaccurate information please tell us and we will be glad to correct it.

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