What is the difference between a QR Code and an AR Code?
QR Code Tech | Saturday 4th of February 2023 10:09:03 AM |
QR Codes were introduced in the early 2000s and have become increasingly popular in the world since then. They are used for a variety of 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.
Apple is rumored to be developing a redesigned QR Code called the "Apple Reality Code" which will reportedly be integrated with the company's upcoming "Apple Reality" headset. Only one experience has been revealed so far, which involves downloading mini-applications called "App Clips" through "App Clips Codes."
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 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.
What's Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that combines optical processes and spatial computing to display virtual elements in a user's field of view. It can also be combined with acoustic technologies to create an immersive sound environment for the user.
To understand the process of displaying augmented reality, it is helpful to be familiar with four concepts:
AR Device: There are already many AR-compatible devices on the market, with an estimated 2 billion AR-compatible smartphones in use today. Consumers can expect to see augmented reality glasses on the mass market this year. The major tech companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and Huawei, all have their own hardware ecosystems that support the development of immersive AR renderings. Apple, in particular, has made significant progress in AR rendering with ARkit. Recently, Facebook, the social media company, announced plans to develop future augmented reality devices and a metaverse. This follows their virtual reality plan after the acquisition of Occulus in 2014. The strategy of Facebook and Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg is to create a comprehensive VR/AR ecosystem by first developing VR headsets and then moving on to the creation of an AR ecosystem once the necessary hardware technology is available.
AR Content: Today, millions of users use AR daily for games or photo/video filters, but these are only a small part of the available AR content. As the use cases for augmented reality expand, it is likely that many of our interfaces will be displayed in AR in the near future, such as computer screens, TV screens, and theater screens. Additionally, 3D recordings of events will provide new ways to interact socially. Microsoft's Hololens 2 headset has already demonstrated this possibility for AR.
AR Rendering: For over a decade, digital giants have been competing for a leading position in the AR technology market. They are also competing with each other for control over various parameters of the AR rendering software. AR systems are usually integrated into proprietary operating systems, with the exception of the open-source format known as WebAR, which is designed for simple AR displays. AR.js is the most universal AR technology and can be displayed on most web browsers, but more advanced AR rendering technologies can be found on high-end smartphones and tablets. Apple's AR rendering system, ARKit, is installed on nearly a billion devices, and Google's AR rendering system, ARCore, is installed on a similar number of smartphones.
AR Anchoring: In an augmented world, the ability to locate augmented reality experiences will be crucial. There are several types of anchors that could be used:
- Anchoring in the direct environment: Allows users to display an AR experience in front of them (e.g., an AR game).
- Anchor through longitude and latitude data reported by a device: For example, an AR content could be activated at a specific location in a city.
- Anchoring through the recognition of objects, buildings, places, faces, etc.: This is already widely used on social networks and can also be done with WebAR technologies.
- Ultra wideband anchoring: Apple has unveiled an AirTag accessory that uses this technology and is expected to display augmented reality in the near future.
- AR Codes anchoring: This is a universal AR anchoring solution that is already widely used to access information via QR Codes. With the growth of AR technology, QR Codes are being transformed into AR Codes to anchor AR experiences on products, membership cards, storefronts, tourist sites, websites, etc.
AR Code technology relies on AR anchoring, AR content, and AR rendering. When users scan the code with their AR devices, they are directed to the appropriate AR content and rendering. The AR content can be hosted on an AR Cloud server or on a third-party platform such as social media (Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.).
AR Code SaaS, 3 different AR renderings
1 - Immersive: Rendering: ARKit & ARCore / Content: AR Code Cloud server
2 - Social Media: Rendering: Instagram / Content: Instagram server
3 - Flying Over: Rendering: WebAR / Content: AR Code Cloud server
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.
23,886 AR experiences
87,902 Scans per day
Top Blog Posts
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to compress / reduce the size of a 3D model in Blender (GLB, GLTF, DAE, FBX, OBJ...)?
- How Do I Scan AR Codes?
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to convert a 3D file (.stl, .obj, .fbx, .dae to .glb or .gltf) on AR Code Studio ?
- AR Video: Play Videos Over Augmented Reality QR Codes
- AR QR Codes: The Future of Interactive Advertising
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: Create an AR 3D Photo on AR Code
- What are Custom Pages & How to create one?
- What is the difference between a QR Code and an AR Code?
- AR Code Technology, The Future of Museums and Art exhibitions
- AR Codes: How They Work & Applications in Education
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: Generate 3D Text on AR Code
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to create an AR Portal and anchor it with an AR Code?
- How to add Augmented Reality on a Business Card with an AR QR Code ?
- How to use Augmented Reality Codes in Real Estate business?
- AR Logo, to Automatically Design 3D logos from SVG image files
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to Display a 3D Scan Photogrammetry in Augmented Reality with an AR Code
- Uploading 3D Models on AR Code, What File Size and Format?
- Augmented Reality QR Codes in Sports Centers
- How to create "Text to AR" experiences with the AR Text app by AR Code?
- How Augmented Reality Codes Can Make our Cities Smarter ?
- How AR Code is going to Transform Industrial and Manufacturing Companies
- How to Track and Retarget Users from your AR QR Code Experiences?
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to convert a 3D CAD model from STP STEP or IGS IGES formats to GLB or OBJ
- VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to compress / reduce the size of an industrial 3D CAD model with MeshLab and Blender?
- AR Codes on Packaging to Display 3D Animations, Videos, or Data in Augmented Reality
- Scan AR Codes to Display Products from an Online Store in Augmented Reality
- AR QR Codes for Event Promotional Materials: Brochures, Posters, or Flyers
- 3D Models GLB & USDZ and AR QR Codes of Concept Cars and Auto Parts
- 3D Models GLB & USDZ of Museum Artworks and Their AR Codes
- Apple to Release Augmented Reality Headset in Spring 2023
- Enhancing Sports Events with AR Code: bring the FIFA World Cup to life
- Educational 3D Models GLB & USDZ and their AR QR Codes: Enhancing Learning for Students
- Industrial 3D Models GLB & USDZ and their AR Codes: Equipment, Tools and Machines
- 3D NFTs can be viewed in Augmented Reality with an AR QR Code
- Celebrating Christmas with Augmented Reality Codes
- Brands' AR Logos and Their GLB & USDZ 3D Models
- Apple Reality Code: The Future of AR and QR Codes on RealityOS
- Metaverse, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality: Apple's and Meta's plans
- Augmented Reality Glasses to Replace Smartphones Within 10 Years ?
- Decorative Vases: downloadable 3D Models GLB & USDZ with corresponding AR Codes
- Marketing Agencies can easily offer AR Solutions using AR Code
- Augmented Reality QR Codes Enhance Collaborative Product Design
- Digitalizing Restaurant Menus with Augmented Reality QR Codes
- Furniture AR Codes and Their 3D Models in GLB & USDZ Formats
- Augmented Reality QR Codes in Corporate Product Catalogs
- 8thWall VS AR Code: Comparing WebAR SaaS for Your Business
- App Clip Codes and Apple Reality Codes: anchoring Augmented Reality Experiences on iOS 17 and RealityOS
- How AR QR Codes in Books and Magazines are Transforming the Reading Experience
- Blippar VS AR Code: WebAR SaaS Platforms Compared
- AR FaceTime on the Apple Reality Pro Headset at WWDC 2023
For great Augmented Reality experiences, use devices with LiDAR sensors like the iPhone Pro: