Why Invisible QR Codes Are The Next Big Thing

Gunel Ismayilova

May 02, 2024

5 min read

Invisible QR codes

Are you ready to find out how to share information secretly? With QR codes, it's possible! Yes, you heard it right! QR codes have the unique superpower of being invisible, just like in the movies. But this is not a fantasy world; you don't need special abilities to make it happen. QR codes are the real deal!

This blog post is a must-read if you want to explore the magic of invisible QR codes and learn how they can help you share and store information securely and secretly. Let’s dive in!

Can a QR code be invisible?

Yes, a QR code can be invisible. I know what you might be thinking - "invisible QR codes? What on earth are those?" Well, let me explain.

How do invisible QR codes work?

Invisible QR codes are pretty cool because, as the name suggests, they are not visible to the naked eye; instead, they require special equipment or software to be read. These QR codes are made of tiny nanoparticles combined with blue and green fluorescence ink, which can absorb and emit photons at different wavelengths. The result is an invisible code that becomes visible under infrared laser light. They are created using data hiding, which involves embedding the QR code into an image or other visual element.

Can you scan an invisible QR code?

It may sound like a paradox, but the answer is yes, with some qualifications. The whole purpose of a QR code is to be machine-readable. Therefore, to scan an invisible QR code, you must use an infrared code reader that can read in the 800-1100 nm wavelength range. This wavelength range is not visible to the human eye but is detectable by particular devices.

You can also find an invisible QR code decoder online that can detect infrared or ultraviolet light to scan that QR code. These apps use the phone's camera to scan the code and detect the hidden pattern. Once the pattern is detected, the app can translate the information into a readable format like regular QR codes.

It's important to note that not all QR code scanning apps can detect invisible QR codes. You may need to search for a specialized app to scan these codes.

In addition to using the accurate barcode reader, you must ensure that the invisible QR code is printed with the right type of ink. The ink for invisible QR codes should be IR fluorescent in the reader wavelength range. This ink is typically available for silk-screen or inkjet printing and can be purchased from silk-screen supplies websites.

Once you have the right equipment and materials, scanning these QR codes is relatively straightforward. Point the infrared barcode reader at the location of the QR code and wait for it to detect and read the code. The reader will then translate the code into digital information that allows you to access websites, apps, and other digital content.

What are the advantages of invisible QR codes?Advantages and disadvantages of invisible QR codes

Now, you might be wondering why anyone would want to use an invisible QR code instead of a traditional one that can be seen. Well, let me tell you, there are plenty of advantages to using invisible QR codes!

  1. Counterfeit prevention: First and foremost, They are a highly secure way of protecting products from counterfeiting. By printing a code that is invisible to the naked eye onto products, companies can ensure that only those with the correct tools and knowledge can authenticate the product. This can be especially important in pharmaceuticals or luxury goods industries, where counterfeiting can have serious consequences.
  2. No clutter on the product: Invisible QR codes are a great way to add extra information to an advertisement or product packaging without compromising aesthetics. Since the codes are invisible, they can be printed onto almost any surface and won't clutter up the product's design. It can benefit products that need a sleek and professional appearance, such as high-end cosmetics or electronics.
  3. More difficult to copy or duplicate: These QR codes are also more secure than traditional codes, as they are less likely to be copied or duplicated. The process of data hiding makes it much more difficult for unauthorized parties to access or reproduce the code, which makes it an attractive option for applications where security is a concern.

What are the disadvantages of invisible QR codes?

As with any new technology, invisible QR codes also have some disadvantages.

  1. Visually restricted: One of the main disadvantages of invisible QR codes is their limited visibility. Because they are designed to be invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen using infrared light, they may not be easily noticeable or recognizable to the average person. This can make it difficult for businesses to incorporate them effectively into their marketing campaigns.
  2. Complicated and costly: The other disadvantage of these QR codes is their cost and complexity. Creating these codes requires specialized materials, such as IR fluorescent ink or other types of invisible inks, which can be expensive and difficult to source. Additionally, printing these codes requires specialized equipment, which can be costly to purchase and maintain.
  3. Not available on all devices: Moreover, the challenge with invisible QR codes is that they may not be compatible with all devices. Not all smartphones or barcode readers can read these codes, so businesses may need to invest in new equipment or software to ensure customers can read their codes.

Current and potential uses for invisible QR codes

So, why would anyone want to use secret QR codes? Well, there are a lot of really cool applications for this technology.

Ticketing and Access Control

Ticketing and Access Control with invisible QR codes

They are useful for ticketing and access control systems. With security a top priority, invisible QR codes are a popular option for event tickets or access control systems. By embedding the code into the ticket or ID card, event organizers can ensure that only authorized individuals can access the event or restricted area. Tracking attendance and monitoring traffic flow using these codes is also possible.

Medical and Pharmaceutical IndustriesMedical and Pharmaceutical Industries using invisible QR codes

Now, let's talk about the medical and pharmaceutical industries. These QR codes can be embedded into packaging or labels, helping to prevent counterfeit products from entering the market. By scanning the code, consumers and medical professionals can verify the authenticity of a product and ensure that it hasn't been tampered with. Plus, these codes can be used to track and monitor the supply chain of pharmaceuticals and medical devices - what an innovation!

Digital Authentication and Security

Finally, invisible QR codes are an excellent digital authentication and security application option. They can be used to verify the authenticity of digital documents and images, ensuring they haven't been tampered with. It is also possible to transmit sensitive information securely, giving users peace of mind that their data is being transmitted safely.

How to do an invisible QR code

Would you like to create an invisible QR code in images or on clothes? It's simpler than you think! Our invisible QR code generator can help you to do it. Let's explore the steps involved in making an invisible QR code!

  1. Choose the QR code type.  First, you must decide what type of QR code you want to create. Is this for ticketing or another website? There are lots of QR code solutions that you can choose from QR Code Creator. Fill out the setup information and generate your QR code.
  2. Choose the suitable ink. The second step in creating an invisible QR code is to select the correct ink. You'll need invisible ink to the naked eye, which can fluoresce under the right conditions. The most common ink for hidden QR codes is IR fluorescent or UV ink. These types of ink are invisible to the naked eye but can be read using an infrared or UV scanner.
  3. Print your QR code. Now it's time to print it onto your chosen surface. What about a business card with an invisible QR code? I know it's crazy, but why not? Invisible QR code printing could be challenging. You'll need a silk-screen or inkjet printer to apply the ink to your surface. Ensure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for printing with the ink, as different inks may have other requirements.
  4. Test your QR code. Once your QR code is printed, it's time to test it. Use a particular barcode scanner to read the code and ensure it is readable. You may need to adjust the scanner's intensity or the ink's brightness to get the best results.

Now that your invisible QR code is ready, it's time to use it!

As we conclude this exploration of invisible QR codes, we can't help but marvel at this technology's sheer power and versatility. From securely sharing confidential information to creating intriguing hidden messages, QR codes have genuinely elevated the technology.

But let's not stop here! With the continuous evolution of technology, who knows what other innovative uses we'll discover for QR codes in the future? We're excited to be part of this journey and look forward to unlocking even more secrets with invisible QR codes.

So keep exploring, experimenting, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible. And always remember, with QR codes, anything is possible!

Make your materials better

Add editable and trackable QR Codes on anything you want with full branding and customization features.