Halftone QR codes

Hung Kuo Chu, Chia Sheng Chang, Ruen Rone Lee, Niloy J. Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


QR code is a popular form of barcode pattern that is ubiquitously used to tag information to products or for linking advertisements. While, on one hand, it is essential to keep the patterns machinereadable; on the other hand, even small changes to the patterns can easily render them unreadable. Hence, in absence of any computational support, such QR codes appear as random collections of black/white modules, and are often visually unpleasant. We propose an approach to produce high quality visual QR codes, which we call halftone QR codes, that are still machine-readable. First, we build a pattern readability function wherein we learn a probability distribution of what modules can be replaced by which other modules. Then, given a text tag, we express the input image in terms of the learned dictionary to encode the source text.We demonstrate that our approach produces high quality results on a range of inputs and under different distortion effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number217
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Halftone
  • Non-Photorealistic Rendering
  • QR code

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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