Apr 232011

I’ve been curious about QR codes for quite a while. They certainly seem like an interesting method for distributing data, but are also simple enough for people to do creative things with them. You’ll see them popping up more and more – on ads, in videos, random t-shirts, etc. I fear I’ve spent too much time brainstorming unique QR codes…

I don’t know that animated QR codes will ever be particularly practical, but it seemed like an interesting experiment. One of the simplest examples is a simple QR code clock which updates once a second.

Your reader might get thrown off by the constantly-changing code, but mine was usually able to grab it after a second or two:

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Creating the QR Clock was fairly painless. A fast JavaScript QR Code generator was already available, so I just had to plug in the date and time. You can re-use the QR Clock under GPLv3 (if you actually find a use for it).

The animation also seems to be a good way to grasp how QR codes work. The page is currently rendering the code with ECC level 1, which means it’s fairly susceptible to corruption. But it also minimizes the number of bits changing with each update. I’m reminded of the geeky binary clocks.

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