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Vol. 32, No. 8(2), S&M2292

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Sensors and Materials, Volume 34, Number 5(4) (2022)
Copyright(C) MYU K.K.
pp. 1917-1926
S&M2942 Research Paper of Special Issue
Published: May 31, 2022

Printed Aesthetic Quick Response Codes [PDF]

Yi-Huei Ho, Tzren-Ru Chou, Chun-Shien Lu, and Hsi-Chun Wang

(Received June 30, 2021; Accepted May 6, 2022)

Keywords: QR code, output equipment, information hiding

Quick response (QR) codes are currently the most commonly used 2D barcodes. They are composed of black and white modules, which detract from their aesthetic appeal. When printed, owing to the size, dot gain, and other printing conditions, barcode information is easily distorted, yielding poor recognition results. We present a systematic aesthetic QR code information embedding technique as well as an error analysis method for physically printed QR codes. QR code information is embedded in a cover image at different strengths and is then printed using two devices. Barcode information is recognized using a geometric transformation by locating and identifying information dots. We propose an adaptive algorithm that hides barcode information in a cover image given the barcode module identification error characteristics (false blacks and false whites). According to these error characteristics, we adaptively enhance the signal of the white embedded modules to improve the overall recognition ability. The experimental results show that the proposed method is compatible with current printing and output equipment. Judicious adjustment of the embedding strength of white module dots decreases the false-black recognition error caused by dot gain and yields small printed aesthetic QR codes that look better. This improves the decoding rates of aesthetic QR codes. We optimize the QR code embedding method and the reading ability given specified output device conditions. This study highlights the importance of the output conditions for integrated applications of aesthetic QR codes.

Corresponding author: Hsi-Chun Wang

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Cite this article
Yi-Huei Ho, Tzren-Ru Chou, Chun-Shien Lu, and Hsi-Chun Wang, Printed Aesthetic Quick Response Codes, Sens. Mater., Vol. 34, No. 5, 2022, p. 1917-1926.

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