From Manufacturing Tool to Modern Life Staple

When DENSO invented the QR code decades ago, the company created it to encourage as many people as possible to benefit from its capabilities. Today, it's gone mainstream, giving users fast and reliable information through a simple scan.

QR stands for Quick Response and is so named because it was developed to make code scanning faster and more efficient.

Before its invention, DENSO manufacturing facilities, like others worldwide, used barcodes to label and identify products. While they were better than analogue alternatives, they were still slow.

This all changed when Masahiro Hara (pictured) and Motoaki Watabe, engineers at DENSO, invented the QR code in 1994. Easily scannable and lightning fast, QR codes unlocked new levels of productivity and information sharing within DENSO's manufacturing operations. Now, as a contactless mode of relaying information, the QR code is everywhere in society, playing a vital role in the digitization of processes during the global pandemic and beyond. From restaurants to airports, the QR code does not just make life more efficient, but also safer and more convenient for all.

The story of DENSO’s invention of this tool is a testament to the company's commitment to innovation and contributing to a better world.

Speaking of Innovation...

DENSO Corporation received the 2023 IEEE Corporate Innovation Award from IEEE, the largest international association for electrical and electronic engineering in the world, for developing the QR Code and spreading its use globally.

The IEEE Corporate Innovation Award, a prestigious technical award, is presented to organizations that have made a significant global impact with innovative technologies and products and contributed to the development of electrical and electronic engineering. Established by IEEE in 1985, the award has been presented to leading companies and organizations worldwide. DENSO has become the sixth Japanese company to receive this recognition.

Game on!

In celebration of the 2023 IEEE Corporate Innovation Award and DENSO’s contribution of the QR Code to the world, the company developed a browser-based game called “DENSO QR Code Maze." Its purpose is to race your vehicle through a QR code-shaped maze and save the city by supplying it energy. You can access the game here: