AR Code AR Face Filter

What is the difference between a QR Code and an AR Code?


QR Code Tech | 30/10/2023 |


QR Codes were introduced in the early 2000s and have become increasingly popular worldwide since then. They are used for various purposes such as making payments, accessing information, and scanning to enter buildings or events.

The Evolution of the QR Code

In 1999, engineer Masahiro Hara of the Japanese company Denso Wave invented the QR Code. Denso Wave, which produces industrial equipment for the automotive industry, developed this optical data transfer system for industrial purposes and made it available to everyone through a license while retaining open patent rights.

As QR Codes gained popularity in Japan, many Japanese cell phones from the early 2000s were equipped with the ability to scan them. Other Asian countries followed this trend.

QR Codes became more visible in Europe and the US over time and then gained widespread popularity with the release of smartphones and their third-party barcode scanning apps.

Today, many smartphone manufacturers include QR Code reading in their operating systems. For instance, Apple recently added a dedicated button for scanning these codes in iOS and iPadOS.

AR QR Code packaging

Although QR Codes have become popular in the West, they have been in use in Asia for much longer. While the US and Europe were using them to access websites, Asian countries were using them to store consumer information and maintain industrial equipment.

Today, the use of QR Codes for these purposes is growing in the West, while in Asia, we use them to pay for shopping, connect with social networks, and display augmented reality experiences from a QR Code scan.

From the QR Code to the AR Code

Over the past decade, the evolution of QR Codes has closely followed the evolution of information technologies, as it is primarily an optical recognition system that can be linked (or not) to a remote server. Its versatility allows it to easily adapt to new digital uses.

QR Code stands for Quick Response Code, which was its original name in reference to the technology's industrial purpose. Today, several code systems have been created using this quick optical recognition technology, including bcode, BEEtag, Aztec Code, Data Matrix, EZcode, and more recently Snapcode by Snapchat and App Clips Code by Apple.

During the era of web 1.0, QR Codes referred to simple web pages. In the age of social networks and e-commerce, they enable data exchanges and payments. In the future augmented world, QR Codes will grant access to augmented reality experiences.

AR Codes are QR Codes that anchor augmented reality experiences.

Industrial AR QR Code

Love AR QR Code

Apple is rumored to be developing a redesigned AR QR Code called the "Apple Vision Code" which will reportedly be integrated with the company's upcoming "Apple Vision" headset. Only one experience has been revealed so far, which involves downloading mini-applications called "App Clips" through "App Clips Codes."

app clips codes

What's Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality combines optical processes and spatial computing to display virtual elements in a user's field of view, often enhanced with immersive sound environments.

To understand augmented reality, it's helpful to be familiar with four key concepts:

  • AR Device: There are many AR-compatible devices, with around 2 billion AR smartphones in use today. Augmented reality glasses are expected to hit the mass market soon. Major tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and Huawei support the development of immersive AR. Apple has made significant progress with ARKit, and Facebook plans to develop AR devices and a metaverse as part of their comprehensive VR/AR ecosystem strategy.

  • AR Content: Millions use AR daily for games and photo/video filters, but AR content is expanding. Future interfaces for computers, TVs, and theaters may be displayed in AR, and 3D recordings of events will enable new social interactions. Microsoft's Hololens 2 has already shown the potential for AR in social settings.

AR Face Filter event

  • AR Render: Digital giants have been competing for dominance in AR technology. Most AR systems are integrated into proprietary operating systems, except for the open-source WebAR. AR.js is universal and works on most web browsers, while advanced rendering technologies are available on high-end smartphones and tablets. Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore are installed on nearly a billion devices each.

  • AR Anchoring: Locating AR experiences requires various anchoring methods:

    • Direct Environment Anchoring: Displays AR experiences in front of the user, such as AR games.
    • Geolocation Anchoring: Activates AR content at specific locations in a city.
    • Object Recognition Anchoring: Recognizes objects, buildings, places, or faces for AR displays, often using WebAR technologies.
    • Ultra-wideband Anchoring: Apple's AirTag uses this for future AR displays.
    • AR Codes Anchoring: QR Codes transformed into AR Codes anchor experiences on products, membership cards, storefronts, tourist sites, and more.

AR Code technology relies on AR anchoring, AR content, and AR rendering. Scanning a code with an AR device directs users to the appropriate content and rendering, hosted on an AR Cloud server or third-party platforms like social media.

Engage Your Audience with AR Codes

AR Codes offer an innovative way to engage your audience by merging the physical and digital worlds. Businesses can create immersive experiences that capture attention and provide valuable information. Imagine a customer scanning an AR Code on a product package to view a 3D model of the product, watch a video tutorial, or even try a virtual demo. This interactive approach not only enhances user engagement but also provides a memorable experience that can lead to higher conversion rates. Utilizing tools like 3D Files Upload, Object Capture, AR Face Filter, and AR Video, businesses can create diverse AR content tailored to their audience's interests.

AR Code SaaS, 4 different AR renderings

immersive AR rendering

AR Face Filters

Flying over AR rendering

AI Code

Immersive AR: Displays AR experiences in your environment, including 3D objects, animations, and VR immersion.

Face Filters AR: Shows AR face filters created on the AR Code platform with your image or logo.

Flying Over AR: Displays videos, 3D models, or data flying over an AR QR Code; text can be edited remotely via our web interface or API.

AI Assistance AR: AI Code; prompts users to take a photo, analyzed by AI for personalized responses or advice.

Frequently asked questions

What are QR codes and how did they originate?

QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes capable of storing a lot of information in a small space. They were invented by engineer Masahiro Hara in 1999 at the Japanese company Denso Wave, which produced industrial equipment for the automotive industry. Initially designed for industrial purposes, the technology later became available to everyone through a license.

What are App Clips Codes?

App Clips Codes, created by Apple, are a specialized form of QR code associated with small-scale applications that can be accessed by scanning the code. These codes are used for various mini-apps, including those featuring augmented reality experiences.

What are AR Codes and how do they relate to QR Codes?

AR Codes are QR Codes that anchor augmented reality experiences. QR Codes have evolved to enable data exchanges and payments, and in the future augmented world, QR Codes will grant access to augmented reality experiences.

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