Playing with QR Codes

Brandon Rozek

December 22, 2015

Looking at Aaron Parecki’s “Fun with QR Codes” inspired me to play with QR Codes myself. Using the tool QArt Coder made by Russ Cox, I made a QR Code with my face in it!

qrcode-large

Why QR Codes?

QR Codes aren’t prevalent in the United States of America. In fact, they’re often viewed by technologists as a joke. But as Christina Xu points out on her Medium post “Pictures of Chinese People Scanning QR Codes”, it’s not a joke everywhere. In fact, many people actually depend on this humble little QR code to get by in their day. Another story, my family and I go out to eat sometimes. Occasionally, we’ll knock into a Heinz Ketchup bottle.

Picture of Heinz ketchup bottle with QR Code.

Picture by Azad Zahoory

My brother would get so excited whenever he saw this. This little ketchup bottle meant that we got to play a

trivia game. No matter what you think of QR Codes, vanity or not, there are people who use it every day. So have some fun and make yourself a QR Code of your own. You know, just in case 😉

Setting up the QR Code

First, you need a picture. I used a picture of myself. Then for the QArt Coder site to work correctly, the image needs to be in high-contrast. Meaning, it needs to be mostly black and white. To accomplish this, fire up Gimp (or your image editor of choice), and hit Color -> Threshold. That will give you a black and white version of the picture where you can then play around with the slider to get it just how you want it. After that, open up QArt Coder and upload the image onto the site. Once that’s accomplished, you might need to play with the QR Size, Image Size, Rotation, and other options. After that, hit “Save this QR Code” and viola! You got yourself three different sizes of QR codes to use. What should you do with the QR Code after you get it? First, brag to your friends about how cool it looks. Then maybe put it on your business card. If you can think of any other excuses uses of QR Codes contact me 🙂