Home > Uncategorized > Readers that like inverted QR codes

Readers that like inverted QR codes

In response to a conversation with @QRazystuff … Here are a list of readers that like and dont like inverted QR codes. Vendors, step up your game ! This test was performed on iphone 3gs – I cannot speak for other models.

Works on …

  • i-nigma
  • neoreader
  • scanlife

Does NOT work on …

  • QRdeCode
    un 2d
    i-decoder  (which is ironic because their logo is inverted )
    barcodes (google)
    code scan
    2d sense
    beetag pro

Now, I will comment that I have only ever seen 2 inverted QR codes in the wild. However, if the readers are supposed to just detect contrast, why not?  I don’t see any reason why we cant start making more codes like this, except, the majority of readers by this test do not support them.  Onward and upward.

  1. June 20, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Speaking of tweaked codes that will or won’t read was anyone able to get this to work? http://www.setjapan.com/qrcode/future-of-qr-codes-is-bright-thanks-to-set/?lang=en

  2. June 20, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I got it to work on neoreader and quickmark on iphone 3GS – Ive been having inigma problems lately. I worked on a custom code for an hour tweaking just to fit my top 3

  3. svx
    July 25, 2011 at 12:43 am

    is there a android list for inverted qr code scanner compatibility?

    • July 25, 2011 at 2:45 am

      Most of these apps also exist on android. But, I would have to check. The point of this post was to warn people about inverted codes since they do NOT work on most scanners.


  4. heisner
    August 29, 2011 at 11:57 am


    Also doesn’t work with QuickMark Barcode Scanner (Android / HTC Desire) from SimpleAct Inc.

    (Not sure if that is the same quickmark item you have in your list)

  5. Dirk S
    January 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Just testet it with Barcode Scanner v3.72 based on zxing and the Barcoo scanner (both on Android). They don’t recognize inverse QR codes… – even now 1.5 years later after this article. Which is a pitty.

    I initially thought it could be related to the outer lines of the code. But in both ways readers need to recognize the 0 or 1 at each field in the matrix anyway.

    However, the standard defines a “quiet zone” around the QR Code. Probably in terms of the standard, an inverse quite zone is then a “busy zone” 😀

    However, asa long as readers are not smart enough trying to decode an inverse picture as well, users should stay with the standard QR Tag definition to be on the safe side.

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