IQR Codes: The Ultimate Solution For Large Data Storage

Gunel Ismayilova

Nov 22, 2023

7 min read

IQR Code

IQR, or "Intelligent Quick Response" is a two-dimensional (2D) barcode that is able to be scanned easily, regardless of the size or position of the IQR code. The IQR code was developed by DENSO WAVE Inc., a Japanese company that created the QR code. The IQR code works by encoding information in a pattern of black and white cells arranged in a square grid. The purpose of the IQR code is allowing for storing large amounts of data in a small digital space, making it useful for applications where space is limited, such as on small products or crowded surfaces, and offering easy visibility and recognition of the code's position and size, making it appropriate for applications requiring rapid and accurate scanning. The IQR code is a versatile 2D matrix code that is used in a variety of fields.

The technical aspects of IQR codes involve their encoding algorithms, error correction capability, size variations, and components, such as square modules, finder patterns, timing patterns, and quiet zone borders, which are processed by QR code readers. The uses of IQR codes involve a variety of applications in various industries, such as marketing and advertising, product tracking, and payment processing. The QR Code Creator processed the technicalities and uses of IQR Codes by performing unique and comprehensive research to create an extensive guide for IQRs.

What is an IQR Code?

IQR meaning "Intelligent Quick Response," is a two-dimensional (2D) barcode that is scanned easily, regardless of the size or position of the IQR code. The IQR code is similar to the traditional QR code but with additional features that enable a more extensive size range of codes. IQR codes are generated in various formats, including rectangular, turned-over, black-and-white inversion, and dot pattern, which allows for a broader range of applications in multiple fields. IQR codes are scanned using a smartphone or mobile device equipped with a camera and a specific barcode scanning application, similar to QR codes.

IQR codes feature built-in error correction codes, allowing them to be read even if partially damaged or obscured. The error correction feature of IQR codes makes them more reliable in harsh or unpredictable environments where traditional QR codes are unreadable.

What is the origin of the IQR Code?

The IQR code was developed by DENSO WAVE Inc., a Japanese company that created the QR code. The development of the IQR code was motivated by the need for a code that was capable of storing more data than the traditional QR code while still being easily readable and printed in a wide range of sizes. The IQR code was first released in 2011, and it has been used in various applications ranging from inventory management to supply chain management.

How does an IQR Code work?

The IQR code works by encoding information in a pattern of black and white cells arranged in a square grid. IQR code scanners read IQR codes by capturing images and interpreting their patterns through algorithms. The IQR code works similarly to 2D codes like QR or Data Matrix, representing various data types, such as text, numbers, or binary data. Multiple layers and the complex structure of the IQR code ensure accuracy and reliability, even under challenging circumstances. Here are the components of the IQR symbol:

  • Square modules
  • Finder pattern
  • Corner patterns
  • Timing patterns
  • Alignment patterns
  • Quiet zone border

The layout and number of these patterns depend on the size and shape of the symbol.

Square modules are arranged in a regular square or rectangular array. These square modules contain the encoded data. The encoded data is represented in binary format, with black modules representing a binary 1 and white modules representing a binary 0. The finder pattern in the upper-left corner aids in accurate scanning regardless of the symbol's orientation. Corner patterns are placed in specific corners of the code, while the alignment pattern assists in re-synchronizing the decoding software if the code undergoes slight distortion. Timing patterns, consisting of alternating black and white modules in one row and column, determine the symbol's version and density. A quiet zone border surrounds the entire IQR code symbol. A quiet zone is a blank space or margin that separates the code from any surrounding text or graphics. It provides an explicit buffer zone to prevent interference with the scanning process and ensures reliable scanning and decoding.

What is the purpose of the IQR Code?

The purpose of the IQR code is allowing for storing large amounts of data in a small digital space, making it useful for applications where space is limited, such as on small products or crowded surfaces, and offering easy visibility and recognition of the code's position and size, making it appropriate for applications requiring rapid and accurate scanning.

What are the uses of IQR Code?

The IQR code is a versatile 2D matrix code that is used in a variety of fields. Listed below are some of the common uses of IQR Code.

  • Secure Data Storage: IQR codes securely store sensitive information, such as personal or financial information, in a compact and easily scannable format.
  • Product Tracking and Authentication: IQR codes are used to track and authenticate products throughout their lifecycle, from manufacturing to distribution and retail.
  • Mobile Payments: Users purchase by scanning an IQR code with a mobile device.
  • Inventory Management: IQR codes are used to manage inventory levels in retail and warehouse environments.
  • Document Management: IQR codes provide a quick way to scan and retrieve important information from digital documents.
  • Advertising and Marketing: Businesses use IQR codes to inform customers about products and services or offer special promotions.
  • Access Control: IQR codes are used for access control, allowing authorized personnel to enter secure areas by scanning a code with their mobile device.

1. Secure Data Storage

IQR codes are able to store more significant amounts of data than regular QR codes, making them suitable for secure data storage. Using IQR codes for secure data storage makes them ideal for applications requiring more data storage, such as sensitive personal and financial data.

For instance, IQR codes make it possible to store and transmit electronic health records (EHRs) securely and efficiently. EHRs contain sensitive information about a patient's medical history, diagnoses, treatments, etc. An IQR code allows healthcare professionals to quickly and easily access a patient's electronic health record by scanning the code without physically accessing the form or inputting additional data. Using IQR codes for data storage helps streamline the process, reduce errors, and improve patient outcomes.

2. Product Tracking and Authentication

IQR codes are used for product tracking and authentication in various industries. Each product is assigned a unique IQR code that contains information about the product, such as its manufacturing date, lot number, and other relevant details. Manufacturers and retailers track the movement of a product through the supply chain, monitor its expiration date, and ensure it is not counterfeit by scanning its IQR code.

It is possible to authenticate products with IQR codes to prevent counterfeiting. Manufacturers ensure their products are genuine by printing an IQR code on each product and linking it to a database. Consumers scan the IQR code with their smartphones to confirm that the product is authentic and to access additional information, such as its ingredients, manufacturing process, and safety standards.

3. Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are made using IQR codes. IQR codes store information about the transaction, such as the amount to be paid and the recipient's information. Users scan the IQR Code with their smartphone and complete the payment process.

Some mobile payment apps use IQR codes to allow users to transfer money between accounts or pay for goods and services at a store. IQR code functions as a security code and authenticates and secures the transaction.

4. Inventory Management

IQR codes are used in inventory management to track products and manage inventory levels. IQR codes are often printed on product labels or packaging to quickly access product information and monitor inventory flow.

A warehouse uses IQR codes to scan and monitor products as they move through the inventory management system, ensuring that inventory levels are accurate and products are easily located. Using IQR codes for inventory management helps reduce errors, improve efficiency, and streamline inventory management.

5. Document Management

Document management is facilitated with IQR codes by encoding document information such as document ID, version number, author, and creation date into the code. Document management with IQR codes enables quick and accurate identification and tracking of documents. IQR codes securely store and transfer digital documents by encoding them into the code and scanning them for later retrieval. Using IQR codes for document management is helpful in industries such as healthcare and legal, where secure document management is crucial.

6. Advertising and Marketing

Marketing and advertising use IQR codes to engage customers and provide additional information. Customers access additional information about a product or service by scanning the IQR code on promotional materials, such as posters and brochures.

Moreover, IQR codes redirect customers to a company's website, social media pages, or online store. Customers receive special promotions, discounts, or other offers. Using IQR codes for promotional purposes increases the visibility and engagement of a company's online presence and boosts traffic.

7. Access Control

IQR codes grant or restrict access to certain areas or resources in access control. For example, an IQR code is generated for an employee's access card, giving them access to specific areas of a building or certain resources within a company's network. IQR codes are used for event access control, where attendees are given a unique IQR code that allows them entry to the event. The IQR code is scanned at the entrance, granting access to those with valid codes and denying entry to those without. Access control with IQR codes provides an efficient and secure way to manage access control for various applications.

How to generate IQR codes

Listed below are the 6 steps to generate IQR codes.

1. Decide on a reliable IQR code generator. There are several online tools available for generating IQR codes. Choose an IQR code generator that meets the needs and ensures it is reputable and reliable.

2. Select and enter the data needed to encode into the generator. IQR codes are able to store various data, including URLs, text, and other information. Decide what data to encode and then enter the IQR code. Ensure that the data is correct and accurate before proceeding.

3. Choose the size and format of the code. IQR codes come in different sizes and formats, including rectangular, turned-over, black-and-white inversion, and dot pattern codes. Choose the size and format that is most suitable, depending on the purpose.

4. Customize the appearance of the IQR code. Personalize the appearance of your IQR code by changing its color, adding a logo or image, or applying other design elements.

5. Generate the IQR code. Once the data has been entered and customized the appearance of the code, click on the generate button to create your IQR code.

6. Download or print the code. IQR codes can be downloaded in a suitable format or printed if they are readable.

What is the minimum and maximum amount of data that can be stored in an IQR Code?

The amount of data that can be stored in an IQR code depends on the size and module configuration of the code.

The minimum 9 x 9 module size code can store 6 numerals for a square code, while the maximum 422 x 422 module size can store 40,637 characters.

The minimum 5 x 19 module size code for a rectangular QR code can store 6 numerals, while the maximum 43 x 131 can store 1,202 characters.

Can you use the QR Code Generator to Generate IQR Codes?

No, QR code generators cannot be used to generate IQR codes as they are different types of codes with different encoding and decoding algorithms. IQR codes have a more complex structure than QR codes, which allows them to store more data and be more versatile in their applications. A special IQR code generator is needed to generate IQR codes designed to handle IQR codes' specific encoding and decoding algorithms.

How to read an IQR Code

Listed below are the 3 steps to read an IQR code.

  1. Install an IQR code reader app on a smartphone or tablet.
  2. Open the IQR code reader app and point the camera toward the IQR code.
  3. Wait for the app to recognize the IQR code and decode its stored data. The app displays the information in the IQR code after decoding.

Note: Keep the camera lens clean and focused on the IQR code. Additionally, ensure adequate lighting to capture a clear image of the code.

What are the Benefits of IQR Codes?

There are numerous benefits associated with IQR codes. IQR codes offer the following benefits.

  • Extensive info density: IQR codes are characterized by their exceptional ability to pack information. IQR codes can store up to 80% more information than traditional QR codes of the same size, allowing for the storage of extensive data sets. The high storage function of IQR code is particularly advantageous when dealing with complex or large-scale information requirements. This enhanced data capacity of IQR codes opens up many possibilities for businesses, allowing them to convey more details, such as product descriptions, contact information, or website URLs, in a single code.
  • High-level error correction: Error correction is critical to any barcode system, ensuring reliable and accurate scanning. IQR codes take this further by offering a higher restoration capability. The ability of IQR code to restore up to 50% of the entire code means it can withstand damage or smearing even under challenging conditions, ensuring reliable scanning and decoding. In environments where codes may experience wear, tear, or distortion, the increased restoration ability of IQR codes ensures excellent reliability.
  • Shape choices: QR code supports both square and rectangular modules. IQR code's rectangular shape provides more flexibility in design and application. Shape flexibility of IQR codes allows for overlaying on barcodes, printing on cylindrical objects, and maintaining readability in spaces where square modules may not be suitable.
  • Minimum size: In addition to increased data capacity, IQR codes offer a significant advantage in size reduction. With IQR codes, generating the smallest QR codes is possible compared to regular ones. In contrast, the minimum size for an iQR code is just 9 x 9, while the minimum size for a QR code is 11 x 11. This size reduction can save valuable space on marketing materials, product packaging, or even when integrated into tiny objects.
  • Versatile applications: IQR code offers various printing options, including rectangular, turned-over, black-and-white inversion, and dot pattern codes. This versatility opens up a wide range of applications across multiple industries. IQR codes can be utilized in manufacturing, logistics, inventory management, access control, asset tracking, advertising, and more. Their small size, flexible module shape, and high data capacity make them ideal for embedding in physical products, printing on labels, or integrating into digital platforms.

What are the Limitations of IQR Codes?

IQR codes offer many benefits and advances, but their limitations must be considered. IQR codes have the following limitations.

  • Compatibility: One of the limitations of IQR codes is their compatibility with scanning devices. IQR codes aren't as widely supported by all scanning devices or applications as QR codes. It's essential to ensure the scanning device or software is compatible with IQR codes before implementation.
  • Scanning Distance and Angle: QR codes require a certain distance and angle for optimal scanning similar to QR codes. Scanning errors sometimes occur if the code is too far away or scanned from an extreme angle. The scanning conditions, such as lighting, distance, and angle, should be suitable for accurate scanning.
  • Printing Quality: The printing quality of IQR codes can significantly impact their scannability. Scanning and decoding a code is difficult if it is printed with a low resolution, smudged, or distorted. Printing IQR codes with sufficient quality and clarity is vital to maintaining their integrity.
  • Environmental Factors: IQR codes, like any long skinny barcode, are subject to environmental factors affecting their scannability. It can be difficult for scanning devices to read the information accurately due to wear and tear, dirt, moisture, or damage to the code.

What are the potential security risks associated with using IQR codes?

Security risks must be considered when using IQR codes or barcodes in general. The following are some of the security risks associated with IQR codes:

  • Counterfeiting: Unauthorized individuals are able to counterfeit or reproduce IQR codes. Counterfeit codes have the potential to deceive consumers, distribute counterfeit products, or lead to fraudulent activities.
  • Malicious Content: IQR codes are capable of delivering malicious content, such as malware, viruses, or phishing attacks. Cybercriminals are able to include harmful links or malicious code within the IQR code, which is triggered when unsuspecting users scan.
  • Data Privacy: IQR codes sometimes contain sensitive information, such as personal data, financial details, or access credentials. Unauthorized individuals potentially intercept or access the data, resulting in privacy breaches and identity theft without appropriate security measures.
  • Spoofing or Tampering: Attackers are able to manipulate or modify IQR codes to mislead users or alter the intended information. Consequently, unauthorized access, incorrect product information, or misleading instructions may result.
  • Social Engineering: It is possible to use IQR codes to trick users into performing specific actions or disclosing sensitive information. For example, a malicious code prompts users to provide login credentials or personal details under the guise of a legitimate request.
  • Lack of Code Verification: Scanning an IQR code does not guarantee the authenticity or integrity of the code itself. Users could unknowingly scan compromised or harmful codes without proper verification mechanisms.

Can IQR codes be scanned by all types of smartphones and devices?

No, IQR codes cannot be scanned by all types of smartphones and devices. Many modern smartphones are equipped with the ability to scan QR codes; on the other hand, IQR codes are not. IQR codes are not as widely supported as regular QR codes due to their relatively newer and less common adoption. QR codes are recommended to make the content accessible to various devices.

Can an IQR code be used to store multimedia content such as videos or audio files?

Yes, an IQR code can be used to store multimedia content, including videos and audio files, similar to regular QR codes. IQR codes are used to encode various data types, including text, URLs, and binary data. Therefore, an IQR code is able to contain multimedia content, such as a video or audio file. Users are able to scan the code using a compatible device or application to access and play the content. IQR codes offer a convenient way to share and distribute multimedia content using the compact and versatile code format.

How does the IQR Code differ from other types of QR codes?

IQR Code differs from other types of QR codes in several ways.

The higher data capacity of IQR codes opens up exciting opportunities for businesses and individuals. The largest QR code can accommodate approximately 7,000 characters (numeric only), whereas an IQR code can accommodate about 40,000 characters (numeric only). The ability to convey more information in a compact format helps enhance customer engagement, streamline processes, and eliminate the need for multiple codes.

The IQR Code allows for smaller-sized codes compared to traditional QR codes. IQR codes reduce the required area by up to approximately 60% compared to a regular QR code, making it useful in applications with limited space.

The IQR code offers the flexibility to use rectangular modules in addition to square codes. Rectangle QR code allows it to be overlaid on spaces where skinny barcodes are present and be printed on cylindrical objects while maintaining readability. Traditional QR codes are composed of square modules only.

The IQR code provides a higher restoration capability than other QR codes. IQR Codes have an error correction level of 50%, compared to 30% for QR codes. IQR code can restore codes even with smeared or damaged areas with a 50% error correction level.

IQR code has a distinct visual appearance compared to other QR codes. IQR code comprises dots, rectangles, one finder, and corner patterns. As a result, it differs from other QR codes visually.

What is the difference between IQR Code and Dynamic QR Code?

The main difference between IQR codes and dynamic QR codes lies in their functionality and usage.

IQR code primarily focuses on expanding data capacity and enabling versatile printing options. It does not inherently possess dynamic content capabilities. The content encoded within an IQR code is typically static and remains unchanged unless manually modified.

Dynamic QR codes, as the name suggests, can dynamically update their content. Dynamic QR codes are managed and edited using QR code generators. Any changes to the linked content are reflected in real time when the dynamic QR code is scanned, providing a dynamic and updatable user experience.

IQR code finds applications in scenarios requiring higher data capacity, compact size, or printing flexibility. IQR codes suit situations where extensive information needs to be encoded, such as product packaging, documentation, or complex data systems.

Dynamic QR codes are commonly used in marketing campaigns, advertising, or situations where the content associated with the QR code needs to be updated frequently. They provide the ability to track and analyze user interactions and enable seamless content updates without regenerating the QR code.

IQR code offers more flexibility regarding shape choices than the Dynamic QR code. IQR codes are available as square and rectangular QR codes, allowing versatile printing options and better integration with various surfaces. On the other hand, Dynamic QR codes are typically square QR codes like traditional QR codes.

IQR and Dynamic QR codes require specific scanning applications or software for decoding. However, the availability of scanning apps or software that support these codes varies. It is essential to ensure compatibility with scanning apps or devices before using them.

What is the difference between IQR Code and Static QR Code?

The difference between IQR codes and static QR codes is understandable by considering their look, shape flexibility, and data capacity:

Static QR codes and IQR codes appear similar visually, but they are not the same. They consist of square modules arranged in a grid pattern, with finder patterns, timing patterns, and quiet zones. The main difference lies in the internal structure rather than the overall look. A static QR code has three finders, while an IQR code only has one finder and three corner patterns.

IQR code offers greater shape flexibility compared to static QR codes. IQR code allows for using rectangular modules in addition to square ones. Therefore, IQR codes can be printed as rectangular QR codes, facilitating overwriting of barcodes and enabling easy printing on cylindrical objects while maintaining code readability. Static QR codes, however, are typically limited to square modules.

IQR code has a higher data capacity than static QR codes. İQR code is able to store 80% more information than a traditional static QR code of the same size. The increased data capacity makes IQR code suitable for applications requiring extensive data storage, allowing more significant amounts of information to be encoded within the code.

What is the difference between IQR Code and SQRC Code?

IQR code and SQRC (Secure Quick Response Code) differ in their functionalities, appearances, use cases, and more.

The primary difference between IQR code and SQRC is its functionality. IQR code is a more flexible code that stores various data types, including alphanumeric, numeric, byte, and kanji characters. On the other hand, SQRC is explicitly designed for secure authentication and authorization to access confidential information. SQR code is able to contain both public data and encrypted private data.

IQR code finds applications in various areas, including product labeling, advertising, inventory, and document management. It offers flexibility in shape, size reduction, and data storage. SQR code focuses on security, making it ideal for applications such as financial transactions, identity verification, and secure access control that require more data protection and integrity.

An IQR code reader or scanner reads IQR code, but SQRC requires an authorized SQRC-capable scanner or app SDK with the decryption key for reading the encrypted private data.

IQR code has an error correction function to enhance its readability even when damaged or obstructed, while SQRC retains the total error correction capability of the code.

SQR codes closely resemble traditional QR codes regarding their internal patterns and layout. They share a similar square grid pattern with black and white modules, making them visually indistinguishable from regular QR codes. On the other hand, IQR code has a distinct visual appearance compared to traditional QR codes. The IQR code features a matrix-type 2D code with rectangular modules, allowing for a broader range of size options and the ability to be printed as a horizontal QR code.

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