DENSO WAVE Incorporated (head office: Agui, Chita, Aichi; Chairperson of the Board and CEO: Katsuhiko Sugito) today announced its commemoration of the 25th anniversary of its QR Code. In 1994, the QR Code was developed to reduce the inconvenience of barcode reading for the company’s manufacturing personnel. The QR Code is designed to read a large amount of information efficiently, and is intended to be used freely by people around the world. With its open patents and specifications, the QR Code is now widely used worldwide.
[Key visual for QR Code’s 25th anniversary website / Logo for QR Code’s 25th anniversary]
DENSO WAVE’s 25-year-old QR Code is now used in many fields including business, daily life, and medicine. It is also a key technology for cashless payment which is becoming the norm worldwide. By scanning a QR Code with a smartphone, it is possible to access needed information, obtain coupons, purchase an airline ticket without standing in line, and do cashless shopping. The widespread use of the QR Code has made many previously impossible things possible; it is simple, convenient and fun to use.
DENSO WAVE will keep working to create a safer, brighter future, believing in the unlimited potential of this tiny square code.
When I worked in the section that developed barcode readers and optical character readers (OCRs), the automotive, electrical, and electronic industries used barcodes which could only hold about 20 alphanumeric characters. Barcodes contain a limited amount of information and can easily become difficult to read due to dirt or stains, and were becoming inadequate for managing parts and products in manufacturing sites. The QR Code was developed to overcome the disadvantages of the barcode.
The QR Code can store up to about 7,000 characters and is now used globally, especially as a key technology for cashless payment.
I was determined to develop a world-class two-dimensional code, and it gives me great pleasure that the QR Code is recognized worldwide and is used more widely than I had expected. New types of IT technology will continue to emerge. DENSO WAVE will improve the QR Code to help create a new future.
Masahiro Hara joined NIPPON-DENSO Co., Ltd. (currently DENSO Corporation) in April 1980 and was permanently transferred to DENSO WAVE in January 2012. Currently, he is a chief engineer. He was the first in the world to develop the handheld CCD barcode reader which is used by cashiers at convenience stores. He was then assigned to the development of automatic recognition systems such as OCRs and the QR Code.
His major awards include the Invention Award of the National Commendation for Invention (2002), the U.S. R&D 100 Awards (2002), the Grand Prize at the Mobile Project Award (2004), the Outstanding Prize at the Japan Innovators Award (2007), the GOOD DESIGN BEST 100 (2012), and the European Inventor Award (2014).
The website tells how the QR Code was developed, how it has been improved over the years, and 25 of its applications in daily life. The website launches on Thursday, August 8, 2019: