Will QR Codes Ever Run Out? Debunking 13 QR Code Myths

Update:  January 12, 2024
Will QR Codes Ever Run Out? Debunking 13 QR Code Myths

QR code myths accompanied the rapid rise of QR codes, and these are still making a buzz online.

Some people are hesitant to scan a QR code, thinking that it could steal their private information or that it would leave malware on their devices.

Then there are some QR code myths that are so ridiculous that you’d wonder why people actually believe them.

But just like how the 5G rumors have come and gone, it’s high time we bust these myths, so those who are misguided will fully understand the benefits of QR codes.

And hopefully, people will stop missing out on any important, possibly life-saving information just because they were afraid of scanning one.

Let the debunking begin.

Will we ever run out of QR codes?

Payment QR code

Image source

Are QR codes running out?

The pandemic boosted the number of QR codes generated worldwide.

In China alone, WeChat saw an estimated 140 billion QR codes generated within their app.

That’s just from one QR code payment system in one country. What about others in different parts of the globe?

This led to the idea that the QR codes are “80% depleted” and that by 2025, people can no longer create new ones since all the possible patterns would have been used by then.

But the truth is, that’s never going to happen. To prove this, one only has to do a bit of math.

See those tiny squares that make up a QR code’s pattern? Those are called modules.

The maximum size of a QR code’s pattern is 177 rows x 177 columns, resulting in 31,329 unique modules. Each module can have one of two states: black or white.

This means that the number of possible module combinations is 231,329. So yes, it will take a lot for unique QR code patterns to run out.

Even then, a QR code generator can add more modules or spaces on the square to create more unique combinations than the one above.

Biggest QR code myths debunked

We have compiled 13 QR code myths from different corners of the Internet, and in this blog, we’ll bust them one by one.

1. QR codes are exclusively for webpages

QR code myths

Some think a QR code can only store a URL and redirect scanning users to that web address like that’s their only purpose.

But while URL QR codes are the most popular type, this does not mean that QR codes are solely for storing webpages or URLs of online files.

QR codes can also route end-users to social media pages or even to an app, both for App Store and Google Play Store.

There’s also the multi-URL QR code — a powerful dynamic QR code that contains multiple links and can redirect scanning users to different landing pages.

You can also use a dynamic QR code to store PDF files, documents and spreadsheets, images, videos, and audio files.

How does that work?

Each dynamic QR code comes with a short URL which serves as its landing page where the scanning user can view or download the file.

The short URL is the data stored within the QR code’s modules.

2. You cannot change a QR code’s destination

QR codes running out

There are two sides to this myth.

If your QR code is static, you can no longer change its landing page once you have generated it.

But if you use a dynamic QR code, you can change the data behind it even when you’ve already generated, printed, or shared the code.

You can change the landing page in real time as well.

This applies to dynamic URL QR codes and all dynamic QR solutions.

For instance, you can edit a QR code and replace the stored data of your QR code anytime you want to.

You can change a dynamic QR code’s destination on the dashboard of your subscribed QR code generator.

3. Hackers can ‘hijack’ a QR code so it would lead to a pirated or phishing site instead

While dynamic QR codes are editable, only their creators can change their landing page on the QR code generator’s dashboard.

Hackers would need the creator’s login credentials to access the dashboard and change the QR code’s destination, and they cannot easily steal that information.

Also, each QR code has a unique pattern that makes it impossible for anyone to steal it and alter its destination link.

4. Nobody scans QR codes anymore

Yes, this is an actual claim.

But numbers can easily bust this QR code myth.

Did you know that QR codes accounted for more than 90% of mobile payments made in China last year?

In the US, 59% of Statista survey respondents felt that QR codes would become a permanent element of using their mobile phones in the future.

Our 2022 first-quarter report also revealed that our subscribers’ dynamic QR codes generated almost seven million scans from users worldwide.

5. It’s too difficult to scan a QR code

Billboard QR code

Smartphones now have a built-in scanner that users can access through the phone’s camera.

Also, most Android devices now have a pre-installed scanner app.

You can also download a third-party QR code scanner from the App Store or the Play Store.

To scan a QR code, open your camera or scanner app and hold your phone over the QR code. A link will flash on your screen as soon as the code is recognized.

See those three identical squares within a QR code’s corners? Those are the finder patterns.

They aid scanners in accurately recognizing the QR code and determining its exact orientation, which is why scanning a QR code is fast and easy.

If you ever encounter any QR code problems, check out these 12 reasons why your QR code is not working.

6. QR codes are not as efficient as NFC tags

Near-field communication (NFC) lags behind QR code technology simply because it’s less practical.

NFC-enabled devices have to be close to each other during data transfers.

In some instances, both devices need to have physical contact.

On the other hand, users can scan a QR code from a distance.

For example, SXSW attendees managed to scan an enormous QR code in the sky formed by over 400 drones.

QR codes are also more accessible and cheaper to generate online; any user can do this in a matter of seconds.

Meanwhile, NFC tags can come at a high price.

7. QR codes do not come with analytics

This is only true for static QR codes. Dynamic QR codes now come with a tracking feature that allows users to monitor the scan statistics of their campaigns in real-time.

On the QR code generator’s dashboard, users can track the following:

  • Location (by city or country)
  • Time (daily, weekly, or monthly)
  • The device used in scanning (operating system)
  • Total number of scans
  • GPS tracking feature

This feature makes campaigns more efficient since marketers can monitor the engagement of their QR codes and gather data that can improve their following promotions.

8. QR codes are boring because they all look identical

Back then, all QR codes only came in black and white. But with today’s QR code generator online software, users can now customize their QR codes.

They can select a pattern type and an eye shape, change the colors of the pattern and its background, and add icons or logos in the middle of the code.

This innovation allows marketers to launch QR code campaigns that match their brand’s image and color palette.

9. QR codes are easily damaged

Some people believe that even a tiny scratch on a printed QR code will significantly affect its readability and result in scanning errors.

But here’s the truth: all QR codes have an error correction feature that comes in four different levels, each having a maximum amount of damage it can withstand:

  • Level L — 7% damage max
  • Level M — 15% damage max
  • Level Q — 25% damage max
  • Level H — 30% damage max

Each level adds a different amount of backup data to the QR code’s pattern.

A higher error correction level will lead to a QR code with more modules.

But despite looking denser, the QR code is safer from wear and tear because of the protection offered by its error correction level.

10. Visual recognition will surpass QR codes

Visual recognition technology allows users to point their smartphones at printed banners and instantly access information on their devices.

While this sounds promising, this technology lags behind QR codes regarding practicality and affordability.

Reading a QR code only takes a smartphone with a working rear camera and a reliable internet connection.

11. QR codes come with limited capabilities

The capabilities of QR codes have increased, and today, they are used in various industries.

Some of these include restaurants, logistics companies, and even healthcare firms.

These codes became highly functional in the marketing industry.

QR codes are now used by businesses to promote their products and connect with customers.

They also track their campaigns using dynamic QR codes.

The only limit to a QR code’s capability is its user’s ability to innovate new ways to use it.

12. You cannot create unique QR codes in bulk

Sure, you can. We have a bulk QR code generator that can let you seamlessly produce multiple unique QR codes in one go.

You only have to create a CSV file (or download our template), enter the data, and upload it to our generator. You can also customize your QR code’s design.

13. QR codes are nothing but a fad

Among the QR code myths, this is the most popular.

QR codes gained widespread popularity after they helped with effective contact tracing and CDC-compliant restaurant reopenings, but some think this won’t last long and they’ll soon die out.

Not to rain on their parade, but QR codes are here to stay. Here are five reasons that support our statement:

  • QR codes provide a safer and more efficient means of data storage, management, and sharing.
  • All smartphones today can scan a QR code, making QR codes a highly effective marketing tool for quickly sharing promotional content.
  • People now realize the value and high functionality of QR codes, and more users prefer having them in establishments.
  • More industries have integrated QR codes into their workflow and systems. For example, QR codes are today’s leading cashless and contactless payment system.
  • Creating a QR code is quick and easy, and QR code generator subscriptions are affordable.

QR TIGER: your trusted QR code myth buster

Most QR code myths come from rumors and hearsay from people who do not fully understand how they work.

This is why we have tasked ourselves to debunk these myths and make people realize how beneficial and advantageous QR codes really are.

We must also eliminate the stigma attached to QR codes, especially because they’re currently used as life-saving tools.

Businesses develop inventive and fun daily campaigns that are hard to miss.

QR TIGER is your best choice in QR code solutions, which is not a myth.

We are the most advanced and affordable QR code generator with a logo online.

Check out our offers and sign up to join our community of successful businesses, organizations, and educators now.

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