Everyone has been in a situation where you have to scan a QR code, but it’s too far for the scanner to detect it. You need to manually zoom the scanner app, like Google Lens, to read the QR code.
Not only does it take time, but the QR code may also get blurred and not scan.
Google is developing a cutting-edge feature to solve this issue. The tech giant is revamping the Google QR code scanner API to include the automatic zoom feature.
Here’s all you need to know about the feature update.
Before we proceed, if you want to create highly engaging and scannable QR codes for your business, QRCodeChimp can help. Create a QR code now.
That said, let’s get started.
Google’s long-range QR code scanner update: An overview
Reports suggest that Google is working on a new feature in which when a QR code or barcode is detected in a camera frame, it will automatically zoom in.
There is no news of when it will be live, but it has been made available to Google developers in the latest APIs. The feature is available in the new bundled ML Kit Barcode Scanning API library version 17.2.0, as Android expert Mishaal Rahman mentioned.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 3, 2023
Additionally, it’s available in v 16.1.0 of the code scanner API.
How effective will be the new feature?
The new code scanner feature will likely work on Google QR Code Scanner and third-party QR code scanning applications. And since it’s an API-level update, there’s no need for app developers to grant additional camera permissions for this to work.
The question, however, arises of how well the feature will work on devices.
We can expect the feature to work well on high-end camera phones with good zoom capabilities. These phones should seamlessly detect and scan the QR code, as the QR code won’t get too blurred upon zooming in.
However, phones with a sub-par camera might not have a similar story. Even though the API uses ML for better detection and scanning, low-quality cameras may struggle to scan QR codes at a distance.
Therefore, the feature could be initially available to Pixel and other few selected devices only. Users may also get the option to toggle the auto-zoom feature on or off as per their preferences.
Since the feature is in development, we’ll know its effectiveness after it’s live.
How does the Google QR code scanner API helps protect user privacy?
Instead of simply reading the QR code, the API will interpret the QR code and only send the barcode object to the scanning application.
This is a move to fortify user privacy.
Let’s understand this with an example.
Suppose you want to scan a digital business card to obtain someone’s contact information. If the application accesses the QR code, it may also access and collect the data in the QR code. In this case, that will be the user’s contact information, i.e., Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
On the other hand, the Google code scanner API only sends the barcode to the application. The barcode only contains the unique QR code identifier, allowing the user to access the QR code data.
Additionally, the API protects user privacy in the following ways:
- The API doesn’t need camera permissions, allowing users to scan QR codes without granting camera access to the application.
- The API doesn’t store any personal data on the device. Even if the application is compromised, the attackers won’t get access to the personal data transferred using the API.
- Since the API is open-source, anyone can review the code to ensure it has no security loopholes.
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How will the Google QR code scanner API help users?
The API will make the QR code scanning experience better for users. Here’s how:
How will the Google QR code scanner API benefit businesses?
While the code scanner update is primarily for end users, it can also help businesses.
Since the advent of QR code marketing, marketers have been in constant pursuit of increasing QR code scans. Significant effort goes into deciding the right placement and size of the QR code to maximize the number of scans.
Many QR codes go unscanned because of scanning problems, which arise due to poor placement, small size, or lack of accessibility due to the distance of the scanning angle.
With the ML-powered QR code scanner coming to Android phones, the issues mentioned above will likely be mitigated, and QR codes will get more scans.
Hence, businesses can use QR codes in marketing with higher confidence.
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QR codes are prevalent worldwide, with people scanning them daily for payments, getting information, claiming coupons, and more.
Google’s upcoming QR code scanner API is bringing the auto-zoom feature to help users seamlessly scan QR codes at a distance.
It’ll result in a seamless scanning experience across media while also helping businesses get more scans on their QR codes.
If you want to create QR codes for your business, QRCodChimp can help.