QR Code vs Semacode

Japanese mobile phonecams users have been using QR Code for some time to scan/enter URLs from newspapers, magazines and business cards. However in the US a competing 2D barcode, Semacode, is a bit more known. The two sample 2D barcodes encode the URL http://www.sabre23t.com in both QR Code and Semacode format.

  • O I C U R A QR Code – M Keadle on 4 May 2005 wrote, “the current candidate to take over barcodes looks to be QR Codes“.
  • QR Code Chocolate – Gizmodo on 26 April 2005 reported, “QR Code Blog explains (exclusively in QR codes, disturbingly) how one might go about creating a QR Code using white and dark chocolate.
  • QR codes update – Chris Heathcote on 25 April 2005 wrote, “… seeing how QR codes have really become part of life there [Japan]: business cards, adverts, magazines, any printed media will have a QR code, either for the URL, address, phone number, or even little pieces of content themselves (ringtones, pictures) … What I want is an open source QR code reader for Western mobile phones.” He also provided a good summary of the current status of QR Codes apps.
  • Forget QR code, here comes the ColorCode – Regine on 22 April 2005 wrote, “While Europe and the US are still wondering what QR codes are (square-like “barcodes” that contains the URL of a website), ColorZip has developed ColorCode to allow mobile phone users to download anything, from text to music, to video, to drinks in vending machines.
  • Phones with eyes – Economist on 10 March 2005 reported, “enable phones to read two-dimensional bar-codes … such bar-codes are already quite common in Japan, where they are known as quick-response (QR) codes … perhaps the most imaginative uses of two-dimensional bar-codes come from Semacode, a firm based in Ontario. Simon Woodside, a graduate student from the University of Waterloo who founded the company, has applied “Semacodesâ€? to bus stops in California.
  • QR Codes & Semacode – David Adams on 12 February 2005 wrote, “The whole barcode thing is a chicken and egg problem. It took off in Japan but only after the technology had been embedded in phones for more than a year. Will it take off in the US? I bet it will. Whether QR Code, Semacode or something else. It just solves so many problems.
  • Mobile Barcode Scanning Catching On In Japan – Mike Masnick on 2 June 2004 wrote, “While everyone has been talking about Semacodes [in US], over in Japan, similar QR codes are starting to catch on (especially with wireless carriers).”
  • Barcodes linking to online content III – Hypulp on 22 March 2004 reported, “In Japan, [QR Code] have been assigned many roles: one of them is to help us input web addresses on our mobile phones and jump from printed content to online content. They can be photographed and decrypted by more than 50% of all mobile phones on the market in Japan (87M).
  • QR Code.com – English page by Denso Wave Incorporated in Japan.
  • QR Code – Wikipedia entry. “A QR Code is a matrix code (or two dimensional bar code) created by Denso in 1994 … QR Codes storing addresses and URLs are becoming increasingly common in magazines and advertisements in Japan. The addition of QR Codes on business cards is also becoming common, greatly simplifying the task of entering the personal details of a new acquaintance into the address book of one’s mobile phone … The Japanese standard for QR Codes, JIS X 0510, was released in January of 1999, and a corresponding ISO International Standard, ISO/IEC18004, was approved in June of 2000.
  • Semacode – a competing 2D barcode to QR Code.
  • Semacode – Wikipedia entry. “It is primarily aimed at being used with cellular phones with cameras to quickly obtain a Web site address. The Semacode specification is open, and based on the ISO/IEC 16022 Data Matrix standard.
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One Response to QR Code vs Semacode

  1. rbl says:

    Semacode ist the way to go. Since it’s an open standard, more projects are likely to use it, and more and more already do so.
    Cell phone companies are also more likely to implement it since there are no fees. (Hope they will supply readers by default soon!)
    I do embrace Semacode. And, btw, I think its esthetically more pleasing since its look is more “neutral”.

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