Encode data in 2D on your T-shirts, business cards and stickers !

Picture of Encode data in 2D on your T-shirts, business cards and stickers !
QR code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code) is a 2D bar code used to encode fair amount of data in a sort of 2D bar code. This code can then be read by cell phones or barcode readers. My choice is for QR Code as it is one of the most used and a simple encoder / decoder for PC and mobile phones is readily available for free.
Another code is Data Matrix (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Matrix) which is now having some backup from both the US Govt and the electronic industry which is planning to add extra information on top of chips and small components: these would be read by automatic assembly machines for a more reliable and foolproof assembly of boards.
PC and mobile phones encoders/decoders are available for Datamatrix as well, but I went for QR code and basta ! No, actually I tried some free Datamatrix decoders and proved less reliable, on my phone at lest, than the QR decoder I am showing here.
"QR Code is trademarked by Denso Wave, inc. as stated in Denso Wave's" this is what can be read on Wikipedia and on Denso Wave's homesite but we can read also that (http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/microqr-e.html) "QR Code is open in the sense that the specification of QR Code is disclosed and that the patent right owned by Denso Wave is not exercised.".

And that's great because this opens to a great deal of opportunities.

...Follow me then and you'll have Y2010 business cards also.

Note (01/02/08) :
Jaxo System's web address has moved to http://www.jaxo-systems.com (thank you, jackOjack)

bobbell6 months ago

I downloaded the 2D barcode decoder and successfully encoded the barcode on my business cards.It's very helpful.

eligreen2 years ago
cool, but you know what, I got a tattoo of barcode on my head. Besides, can I use some other colors, you know I can not always wear a white T-shirt.
stratholm7 years ago
This is a great instructable! Here is one for you all:
never laughed so hard looking at my phone
Never ask a naked man to point north!
Dean AAron3 years ago
That's cool! I've heard about it before and would like to have a try~
This is a comprehensive barcode professional website (http://www.onbarcode.com/) and I used it a lot.
Complete barcode solutions for .NET, Java, and Smartphones are provided here. Easy and efficient to use, so try them at following web sites.
mobosurvey3 years ago
mobosurvey says: With http://www.mobosurvey.com you can create forms/surveys and distribute through QR code. The forms/surveys will have the native look and feel to your visitor's device (mobile, desktop, or tablet).
bennettcrew4 years ago
My brother makes custom furniture / art deco pieces, and tags them with QR. As the piece sits in someone's lobby or other such place, if someone is interested in it, they scan the QR, it takes them directly to the webpage for that particular one, and they can purchase it via paypal, right from their phone! The site also allows them to contact him, or browse other pieces of furniture / art. Your point of using it at historical landmarks is something I was just thinking about a few days ago, prior to reading this. A local community is looking into some more "interactive" things, and my suggestion would be to use these things for a "walking tour" type of situation.
chilll20094 years ago
You can print qr to cafe press
brendon_S804 years ago
brilliant stuff!. The list of scanners is pretty good even though there are a good more out there. Google has its own project (java and objective C) scanner if any ones looking - 'zxing project' - just do a google search.

Sticking to the theme of this page...I think there are a great more uses which havent yet been spoken of in the forum,

Ive stumbled across a site which has many more ways to encode data into the 2d barcode. The 2d barcode business card is there but they also have a 2d barcode map which someone plugged into google maps! you can find a location which stores itself in the qr code, then when scanned it opens up the mapping software on your phone too and asks if you want directions.  There's the standard 2d barcode which can store data, and of course the 2d barcode sms! - when I used the site it was all free of charge!

I think these 2d barcodes are fantastic! and Rumour has it we will see huge uptake with them next year!

Happy creating! and scanning everyone.
mgalica5 years ago

Here’s another approach that's focused on sharing your social networks + be able to edit it in the future + see the analytics!


Here’s mine: http://shrsqr.com/ABCDE

Tip: if you add a plus sign to the above URL you can see some cool analytics!

nice! now I just need a laser scanner... 
pie R []ed5 years ago
I have seen this concept used in 3D. the patch is still 2D but if you send it through a program it pops out as a 3D image. If you rotate the patch the image rotates to show its side.
Jaxo seems to work great for me. Check out my "Business Code".
Before you put that on a business card you should consider using the "Contact Info" data type for the QR code. You've got the information in plain text, but some phones/readers, such as the Android phone, can parse QR data as a contact and import it into the phone book with the appropriate fields already filled in.  Here's a page I use:


The Cross Stitch Instructable
uses the Contact Info format, so you can check out that page with your phone to see if it detects the difference.

In the drop down box, the second entry is "Contact information" and "Text" is second to last.  Other standard data types that can be generated with that page are: Calendar event, Email address, Geo location, Phone number, SMS, and URL.

QR Code also has support for Japanese characters.  Unfortunately,QR codes just have a fairly stand ASCII alphabet and a decent Japanese alphabet, but no other character sets or unicode, as it was only designed for those languages.  I'm willing to bet if QR Codes catch on, a unicode datatype will be created.
Daniel Wright
Freelance Photographer
(920) 598-0956
Thats naughty....
what is it
smush6 years ago
Hi I've tested this decoder, I'm thinking how it may work. I tested it on 3 different cell phones including Java mobile client...no way even to install 2 of them (BBerry + HTC). On the N6280 the installation is ok but, unfortunately, I wasn't able to read any QR barcode (except the huge ones) and it takes time to decode. Is someone making the same experience or am I wrong somewhere ?
If you have an android phone (most new HTC and some others) Google Goggles can read qR
This is Awesome! And Easy Too! I cant wait to put codes all over the place!
This is super sweet, now I can have t shirts of all my favorite pick up lines such as
5a"If I said you had a beautiful body would you take your pants off and dance around a bit?"
yes lol
5Volt (author)  Tool Using Animal7 years ago
Does your pickup line work ? LOL
Only on my wife.
I'm surprised it works on her
I could try but I'm not very good at dancing!
Also this works fine on my K750i just to let you know.
5Volt (author)  Joe Martin7 years ago
OK, excellent. Thank you.
It doesn't support treo's =[
dombeef6 years ago
can you help my nokia 6103 wont work!
Jake Turner7 years ago
Hey guys, pull out your decoder applets!
14Drink your ovaltine?
Yep, minus the 14.
wasn't it "be sure to drink your ovaltine" if your quoting the same movie I'm thinking of
Tobita ratgod7 years ago
"remember to set your decoder rings to B2" was it B2 or B12? i can't remember
maybe, but i haven't seen it in a long while, so who knows?(...wikipedia...)
`14Drink your Ovaltine` is what my Infobar keitai tells me...
techmonster7 years ago
is there a reader for the krazr
dchall87 years ago
Someone just pointed me to a database program for your books, movies, CDs, and games. It makes your webcam camera a barcode reader. You wave your CD barcode in front of the webcam and the database goes to Amazon to download all the information about your CD (or book, etc.). I'm sure it also will tell you, "People who bought your book also bought..." BUT the point is you can turn any camera into a barcode reader. Pretty soon everything will have a barcode on it, and I'm not just talking about the box it comes in. We'll all be doing inventory control in our homes. Every time we take something out of the refrigerator the scanner in the door jam will notice what it was. If you don't put it back in the fridge in a few minutes, the alarms go off to remind you to put it back. To turn off the alarm you will either punch the "I used it all" button or you can return it to the refrigerator. Either way the home computer will take note and start printing a future shopping list for you. When will money have barcodes??? Maybe it already does (cue the Twilight Zone music).
You can buy a cheap scanner called a "cat" (play on "mouse") that does the same thing, without the jerry rigging.
5Volt (author)  Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
Yes, but does it stay in a cell phone ?
So... don't keep us in suspense, what program?
I'm sorry. I didn't see your question. Libra is the program.

bobba Polymorph7 years ago
delicious library
Ward_Nox7 years ago
anyone found one that works for Verizon
e-hizzle7 years ago
hey i have a samsung sch-A930 can anyone help me find a decoder because i'v been loking for an hour but cant find anything
shakes44487 years ago
the one i downloaded from i-nigma works very well Black Jack 2 windows mobile 6...very quick...first one i tried so i guess thats that.
How did you get the program for you Black Jack?
Hello, Im curious is there a computer based application instead of phone based that I can use a web cam to read it?
schetleft7 years ago
On my phone, where do i put the .jar file? can i download it directly from my phone?
5Volt (author)  schetleft7 years ago
Both Jaxo Systems and Kaywa give the opportunity to download the application off the air directly in the phone. What is your phone ?
schetleft 5Volt7 years ago
no verizon phones
merseyless7 years ago
i cant find anything for my z310i
5Volt (author)  merseyless7 years ago
These two site apparently provide some readers.
The first also has a reader for your z310i.

Not checked either their reliability or if they are locked to the provider.
Worth a shot, I guess.


no luck. time to get a new phone :P
burgarl117 years ago
Will they ever have this for verizon phones?
mighell7 years ago
well jaxo sucks... try QuickMark instead: http://www.quickmark.com.tw/En/basic/download.asp
works really nice on my Nokia 6600
Funny story. My dad's 6131 'broke' but I fixed it. And well, Jaxo works amazingly well.
5Volt (author)  Noodle937 years ago
I am a bit surprised when a Java applet doesn't work on some platforms : when they say 'download version for your XX phone' I'd expect that they took the time to test it on that phone !...
5Volt (author)  5Volt7 years ago
I almost forgot : congratulations for fixing the phone, more fun than buying a new one.
Noodle93 5Volt7 years ago
Instructables members fix THEN buy. :D Yeah it was weird. The camera image would come a bit offscreen and the decode button wouldn't press, but it was still responding (the button).
Noodle937 years ago
Also, plus +1 and favourited because it's funkay.
Noodle937 years ago
Libra works well! But. This 'BarSnap' on Jaxo Systems isn't working on My Nokia 6600 (I Know, really old.)
mhdguy7 years ago
jaxo asks for a password and user to download the decoder now. does anyone have the needed info or possibly know where I can get a QR code decoder for a SE w300i (I've tried all the others listed and none of them work as i have Internet capability's turned off by my cell distributer)
5Volt (author)  mhdguy7 years ago
Download has been restored. I tried a few of them and it works, no login required any more. Have fun.
5Volt (author)  mhdguy7 years ago
I was told by Jaxo that they are currently experiencing a few problems as they are migrating to their original web address ( http://www.jaxo-systems.com ).
The login request to download the readers will be gone soon.

For those who want something "better", I just found the Psytec QRcode Edit
Apart from being Japanese (that's why I put a Google Translate link), it looks better than the one from Jaxo. It doesn't add the letters in front of the coded text like the Jaxo program. You can also read the code back from a screen capture or a file. Perfect for those with only a digicam. The program is Windows only. Too bad they don't make an English version... But I still managed to figure it out.

It's also free I should add.
5Volt (author)  Build-o-Matic7 years ago
It runs on Windows but not on Java phones. Of course it helps those without a Java-enabled camera-equipped telephone. But not those running Linux. The letters in front of the captured code is the hexadecimal length in hexadecimal of the captured text. Putting the coder in "native mode" would make the number disappear but, I add, the software on the phone would not decode, say, a phone number as a number to be called or stored in the memory.
I know, but I don't have a camera phone so I'm stuck having to use my digicam and convert the code in Windows (my modem is a connexant and my scanner is not supported by Sane... Linux users know what it means)... You might be able to run it through Wine... I don't see any reason for it not to. You might not have the screen dump feature that works but the rest should... As for getting a translation, using ResHacker to change the values in the PE should not be much of a problem. One of the cool features of the program is that if you select a code to open and hold the shift key while pressing Open, you will see the exact content of all the values in the text.
Hold_out7 years ago
I have a ZTE F156. Is there a decoder compatible with my phone that I can download to my computer. Help would be apreciated.
5Volt (author)  Hold_out7 years ago
Did you try the links provided in the comments below and summarized at step 1 ? Also, your phone is Java enabled : I suspect ( but do not guarantee ! ) that trying a few version for other phone with same screen resolution might work. After all Java is pretty much portable. Ciao
jackOjack7 years ago
Jaxo systems is currently moving from www.jaxo.com to www.jaxo-systems.com, you can already find the new barcode generator on it, even if the new website is still underconstruction....
5Volt (author)  jackOjack7 years ago
Ah ! Thank you a lot. Eccellente.
WingDings7 years ago
Is it me or is Jaxo systems not there anymore? I couldn't find any real content at www.jaxo.com?
i know i thought this was a cool insructable until the website didnt work. is there a nother one?
Jeremy Douglass, who writes on WRT (WRT: Writer Response Theory) is obviously into this and though the blog itself might be a bit 'arty' for some, he mentions a lot of information in the comments below this entry: QR Code and unreadable digital text.

If nothing else, the standards are open and available, so you could always write some code yourself, though I imagine that would be a long project! He mentions someone writing an open source project, so that might help.
5Volt (author)  Charger_067 years ago
Apparently Jaxo System's web site has some problem. In the Intro page of this Instructable I collected the addresses found by readers and posted in comments. Many of them have downloads for mobile phones, some others have directions for others sites also. I'm writing to Jaxo and see what's happening.
AMAZING7 years ago
hey guys, pretty cool instructable...u know u could sent secret messages to ur friends....... nyways the application for the n 70 doesnt work that good......but still you could use it
merseyless7 years ago
has anyone tried using the Japanese HOOP reader? (its a 2d barcode reader for your webcam) after 10 minutes I finally was able to get it going (its sensitive to focus) great if your phone isn't supported!
t.rohner7 years ago
Cool, just installed it on my Sony W810. Works perfectly... I will print some cool T-Shirts, we sell shirt printers, so we have a demo unit at our company....
ErVaK7 years ago
hey this looks awesome but I was wondering if anyones found a version for a "Samsung SGH-A411"
lunchboxrc7 years ago
Why not just run the business cards through the printer?
5Volt (author)  lunchboxrc7 years ago
The new thing is that you can supply anyone equipped with this stuff with contact details and that these can be transferred directly to the contact directory within a phone. Short (and medium-long!) description can accompany these data. And you don't need to hand-write a single word. QR-coded historical information could (and already do ) be printed at the entrance of historical landmarks : just point the phone and you get suggested itineraries over the web. A voice might also narrate along. Get the menu with a snapshot along with opening time and phone number for reservation. Public transportation timetables. Charities may display their phone numbers on the screens during, say, Telethons or so, and ask to "snap a picture and donate" instead of "go reach for a telephone and dial....". Manufacturing steps and repair history of devices could be coded on stickers. QR codes and 2D codes in general, could bridge the gap between printed and digital information. No OCR. Again, I'm not inventing anything. Almost all of these are already there.
SaM_HaX7 years ago
I have the same prob with my phone Ericcson W600i I can't zoom in.
5Volt (author)  SaM_HaX7 years ago
In fact. I suspect no one can. Why don't you write to Jaxo Systems and kindly ask them for a new release of their software to address the issue (as I did already) ? Applications from other suppliers don't handle zoom either. Possibly an issue related to J2ME.
I own a Razr V3 and I was wondering if there's any other non-camera Qr apps to download. I tried Beetag and it didn't work for me. If I cant capture the codes using Java then I could at least take them and then decode them.
This is already used in the convention industry for "business cards". When you register for the event, all your information in the system is printed in 2d format on your convention badge. This can then be scanned in by an exhibitor who is selling something you are interested in with a "lead retrieval unit" or by another device with the decoder.
duct tape7 years ago
Can this work with the Nokia 6126?
5Volt (author)  duct tape7 years ago
Yes, it should. In Jaxo System's homepage you can download the jar file for your specific phone also. Please post here comments then.

On some Nokia phones these readers are already installed : see
Nokia's website has some hint related to 2D codes and its phones also. Worth a read.
Zorba17 years ago
I tried this before, but didn't work for me. Probably my Sony Ericsson K700's camera is too lame for this (low resolution, blurry or I don't know). BTW, there are other, funnier barcodes too. Semacode (http://semacode.org/) is similiar, but the circular ShotCode (http://www.shotcode.com/) looks far more impressive. Unfortunately none of these worked with my phone.
how do you get your phone to read this?
I've found some J2ME tools to read all of these, I guess on the mentioned sites. But even though the tools ran on my phone (there's a QR code reader directly for the K700, the others were generic J2ME tools, I guess), I wasn't able to read any codes (at least from my LCD monitor). I don't know what the problem was (monitor, brightness, focus, framing, shaking or something else), but I wasn't able to decrypt any of these barcodes with numerous shots. So it works, should work with a K700 too, but for me only theorically. Maybe I'll give them a try one day again.
snaz7 years ago
I was wondering, could you print out a QR code and take it to, like Walmart? would the scanners be able to read it?
bloody09867 years ago
Is there any Decoders for my Samsung Blackjack? I need one that doesn't need Internet on your phone as I have NO Internet access on my cell.
Forget it. I found one at CLICKY HERE!!!
There are also more phones there if anyone can't find one. You will need to register though.
Thanks! It's a sweet little app, automated and all.
envelupo7 years ago
You can do lots of stuff with Qr codes; we used them to encode the characters for a cell phone game so that you could print the codes and read them to upload the characters to your phone. Take a look here :)
abickerton7 years ago
http://get.beetagg.com is much more suited to a t-shirt in my personal opinion. Its also usable if you cellphone has no camera.

berky937 years ago
my phone doesnt have internet enabled, so could I move this to my device via blutooth or something?
I'm having trouble with the app on my Sony-Ericsson W-810i. do you have to use the PC Suite?
Nvm, restarting my phone magically allowed me to install it. go figure
bloody09867 years ago
Anyone know why every time someone makes a code from the Jaxo QR Code Creator, there is always a number or letter at the beginning that wasn't there before?
I write: Bloody0986
Phone Reads: 0aBloody0986
See the 0a suddenly appears there?
5Volt (author)  bloody09867 years ago
I got a kind p.m. from Jaxo Systems about this issue. Pierre says that the 0a (actually hexadecimal 0x0A that is decimal ten) is the length of the string following 0a, that is "Bloody0986" which is 10 chars long. The reason for that number is in the fact that the coder is in "dynamic mode" to allow the inclusion of SMS, telephone numbers and other. These number allow the software to isolate SMSs, phone numbers and Email addresses and other from each other. Putting the coder in "native mode" would make the number disappear but, I add, the software will not decode, say, a phone number as a number to be called or stored in the memory.
By the way: my phone has read many other Qr codes and none do that either except for the Jaxo Creator.
GrinnDaddy7 years ago
Very cool stuff. I actually ended up writing an article about it and some of it's potential uses:
Wonder if I could do this on my LG 8100? It'd be nice, 'cuz it's fairly close to useless, for telephonic purposes, at least in my area.
try scanning the back of a drivers licence
darus677 years ago
Are there any web sites that can decode these? My Verizon mobile phone doesn't support 3rd party apps.
If you take it to the Verizon store, some will be nice enough to "unlock" it for you. If not, try another store, some will be happy to, just tell them what you're trying to do.
It's easy enough to unlock it yourself, with a program like bitpim. But, even if you did, the program would not run, because verizon phones use BREW files, not JAVA, and I'm yet to find one written with BREW.
same. I got mine here. this is the direct link so just save it to your computer and decode away!

5Volt (author)  darus677 years ago
At the top of the main screen in Jaxo System's website ( http://www.jaxo.com/home ) you can download a stand alone application for you PC to encode and decode QR Codes (barshow.exe and barcapture.exe).
About your Verizon, sorry I ca't help.
Sinistrahd7 years ago
This is eerie, I just sent a business idea to google to use something like this for integrating paper documents with google docs via scanners... Why is it that the same idea pops up at relatively the same time in disparate locations like this? It always seems to happen...
Mark Twain addresses this in: http://www.mtwain.com/Mental_Telegraphy_Again/0.html

Interesting phenomenon.
BenH hassi7 years ago
Either way, it makes getting a patent a pain in the a**.
5Volt (author)  BenH7 years ago
'till it last... Recent news show that getting patents is getting easier every day.... I am a CC guy.
BenH 5Volt7 years ago
Tell that to Novell.
5Volt (author)  Sinistrahd7 years ago
This seems a positive consequence of open source, sharing and free to use tools.
I was "googling" for QR code in search of decoders to add to the lists in the comments when stumbled upon http://lendorff.kaywa.com/ . Just yesterday I suggested in a comment that QR codes could be knitted or crocheted into scarf for the Lion Brand yarn contest...
Eviltwin7 years ago
Still looking for a Samsung A900 (Blade) workable reader :( Great software otherwise.
Hmm....I downloaded the Motorola V3 version (and even tried the V3x one as well) but couldn't get it to work on my RAZR. I kept getting an error message saying "This device doesn't provide the required firmware." Do I need to use a specific phone firmware version? I realize this probably not the best place to ask, but between the fact I don't speak French and the FAQ on that site is "en Francais" (which is coincidentally all the French i know) and the fact there's plenty of big, juicy brains loitering about this site at any given moment...well, I'm going to give this a shot. I know the RAZR is about the most ubiquitous phone out there right now, so if anyone else managed to get this working on their phone, please let me know what you did!!
5Volt (author)  PerfectlySquare7 years ago
Awesome! Good thing I have an HTC 6800 (they are the best (windows mobile phones I mean, and HTC too)). I'll start writing messages to my friends in code, and letting them figure them out. I might just print a few t-shirts with code! Hmm, I just thought of something, I'll write my name and use the image as my Display Picture on Messenger!
bmlbytes7 years ago
upload a picture of the barcode into cafepress.com . They will print and mail you a customized t-shirt for around $15
regisd7 years ago
what a great idea. hm. is there a windows-xp-based or mac-osx-based decoder that'll decode from a jpg or gif? i can't find one with a quick googling.
5Volt (author)  regisd7 years ago
Yes, in Jaxo Systems' website ( http://jaxo.com/qrcode.php ) on the top bar you can download a decoder both to capture on the fly from the screen and open and decode an image file.
regisd regisd7 years ago
I'd really like to decode, say, those QRs they give you at Starbucks (y'know, the order-your-grande-latte-via-your-cellphone-service they offer), maybe find out a pattern and create my own orders... "Hang on a sec, lemme scan your mobile.. There you go, 57 freshly baked creamcheesebagels. Have a good one sir!"
I finally got it to work! Just not for my phone =[
5Volt (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
Oh oh ! I think (say, I hope) that the extra traffic to Jaxo System's homesite will prompt them to make the jar files for more phones. I'd also appreciate if it could control the macro mode of some cameras, mine included... What phone is it working on ?
I got it working on my computer...no phone though,
5Volt (author) 7 years ago
I was browsing the Lion Brand yarn contest entries when I though that 2D bar codes could be knitted or crocheted into scarf, hats, blankets or other also.
ERNesbitt 5Volt7 years ago
What a great idea. I think I'll pair that with my next shadow knitting project!
xtank57 years ago
Dude this is sweet! I really have to use this. Maybe I could get my school to also...
5Volt (author)  xtank57 years ago
Thank you. Starting a new trend ?
That's pretty awesome, I thought your shirt was actually like that. Maybe I'll make that, but the whole shirt would be like that.. That would be sweet.
5Volt (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
A giant code on the T...nice idea.
I though of placing the code on an Instructable T-shirt , on the back actually. That wasn't be too much of a good idea as data could be snatched unknowingly.
Hiding part of the code under a foldable something (a velcro pocket say) would make data available only on request.

The code has some error correction method (built-in redundancy) so even a partially covered code can be decoded.
Dantex7 years ago
awesome, registered people give it a plus!!!!
5Volt (author)  Dantex7 years ago
Thank you.
Vertigo6667 years ago
Those are occasionally on mail envelopes
5Volt (author)  Vertigo6667 years ago
Oh yes, on bills also. I have seen CPU boards (not PCs') with this on it.
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
I can't seem to get it to save the image for me..
ARVash7 years ago
getting a could not find video error on my motorola a780 :/ I'll keep finangling with it.