What does it take to take down a QR code? More than I would have guessed, actually. In a blog post, engineer Nick Berry made a quick response code pointing to his company’s website, datagenetics.com, then distorted the code in 31 ways to see which distortions would make the code unreadable to his scanner.
The result is a bit Dr. Seussian. Does it scan with yellow dots? Does it scan with stuff on top? Much more often than I expected, the codes did scan, both for Berry and for me, when I pointed my own phone at them. You can visit Berry’s blog to try them yourself. At the top, Berry also gives a nice explanation of what scanners are looking for in a code, which helps explain why certain distortions do or don’t work.