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  • Peter

One problem with standard QR codes is that people can’t easily verify the integrity of the codes before scanning them. This can be a problem if hackers try replace a QR code with their own. A highly effective solution for this problem - preventing the scanning of counterfeit QR codes - is individualized high quality animations of the QR codes. In this approach, some or all of the black squares of the code are uniquely animated into alternating patterns from the code to an image - a portrait, logo, or purchase item for example - and then animated back to the scannable code in a short duration looping animation. This method can be practical when the QR code is expected to be displayed on an electronic screen at a public location or on a personal mobile phone.


Animated QR codes displayed on electronic screens provide multiple layers of protection for the person scanning.


First, when a QR code is presented on an electronic display, it cannot be simply covered over with an imposter QR code like printed QR codes can; any such physical overlay would be easily detected by the scanning audience. When a code is displayed on a screen, people expect to see the glow of the electronic display, and they would expect the displayed image to be 'behind the glass' or 'in the depth' of the electric screen. A sticker slapped on top of a screen is simply too obvious an interception of intended communication.


Second, any alteration of the actual animation file by a hacker - which is fundamentally much more difficult - could be easily recognized by the viewer since altered animations are visually easily detectable but very difficult to create, much like the ink dots of printed cash are. Any glitches or low quality movement in the animations would immediately stand out, since people’s vision has evolved to detect movement with extremely high fidelity. Any low quality changes to the animation would simply ‘pop out’ to the viewer as ‘something is wrong here’ in a manner not much different than when people evaluate if cash is authentic or counterfeit.


Animation is even known in to provide a basic synesthesia - an overlapping perception of multiple senses - so people can have a true comprehensive ‘feeling’ that a specific animated code is safe to scan.


Furthermore, the animations of such codes can be branded themselves, providing any potential viewer with a technology-free method to authenticate the validity of a QR code as having been published by a specific organization or person.


Finally, in cases requiring even tighter security needs, animated QR codes can be customized for their specific intended audience - even specific people - in a way those people scanning expect from the provider based on an established transaction history. In other words, people can expect something like 'This bank always sends me a code that has this specific animation I chose. If I don't recognize the animation presented to me in a transaction that claims to be from my bank, I'm not going to scan it'. In this case, human based authentication - requiring no technology other than human vision and memory - can be quite easily achieved.


Our animated QR codes are a very unusual product; they can significantly enhance security for your target audience, and their sense of confidence in your QR codes. Truly: 'The best QR codes are Animated'.


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  • Peter

We've finally published our new Animation Browser, a web page for everyone to easily view our public QR code animations at high resolution:

Initially we published an "Animation Library", which displayed low resolution "thumbnails" of all our public animations on one page. But this brought us several problems. First, many phones and web browsers simply aren't able to display multiple animations at the same time, much less an entire library of them. Second, the low resolution thumbnails didn't really communicate the high fidelity of the animations we create. So viewer's web browsers were left overwhelmed at the amount of content to display, and the viewers themselves were left underwhelmed at the reduced quality of each animation.


No more.


Check out our Animation Browser. It displays one animation at a time, at a respectable 800x800 pixel resolution. There's option buttons to reduce display size if scaling is required on your system. Whatever resolution you choose, there's plenty of detail to drink in the full quality of our animations, and also to imagine what your logo or custom image would look like when integrated into the final animation. Pricing is also listed, and simple instructions for purchase are clearly labeled. Not sure about buying from us, or a little unclear as to what we deliver? No problem! Ask to 'Try' as indicated, and we'll send you a 'Locked Demonstration Preview' animation, at no cost to you. This mp4 file will have your custom image or logo in it, with watermarking layered on top of so it can't be used in production. It will also have your QR code message re-directed to our website in a manner that proves to you our QR codes work and can contain your message, but disable the QR code for production. Most importantly, your Demonstration Preview mp4 file will allow you to plug the animation (the demo mp4 file) into your display system or distribution framework to see how your logo or custom image would look like when integrated into the animation you select, and verify that it will scan correctly to your message after you purchase. If you like what you see, let us know, make a payment via PayPal, and in very little time we'll send you an 'unlocked' full resolution animation with no watermark and your raw unwrapped message in your QR code.


And remember as always, any code purchased from us is not re-directed through our servers, nor does it require any ongoing subscription. It will work forever. Note: We do offer subscription, but that's for high volume customers to generate mp4 file animations at high volumes, not QR code actuation.

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Good software engineers, just like good writers, understand the trade off: To quickly create a product comes at the cost of it being imperfectly made. This is another manifestation of "Cheap, Good, Fast; You can pick any two." We had chosen Cheap (for your cost savings) and Good (for your quality). Frankly, we just weren't in a hurry when it came to documentation.


ACME's API for generating QR codes and Animated QR codes has some extremely powerful software supporting the engine. As a result, we have a lot of options (API parameters) to really dial in the animations. These options as they were presented in our documentation frequently overwhelmed folks just looking to make an standard QR code or an animated code.


We've fixed this recently with two major documentation upgrades:

  1. Significant overhaul of our published documentation with helpful examples in the SDK (Software Development Kit)

  2. API 3.0 Definitions and Collections published on postman.com


Our documentation re-write presents the simplest examples first, and clarifies the optional arguments for later power users. We also have published working examples in multiple languages with open MIT licensing, so developers can use these scripts to get quickly up and running with our API and make their own software to use our API as their application needs.

Meanwhile, postman.com has become one of the leading API sites where programmers can quickly learn, interact, and develop code for an API to efficiently integrate a remote software solution. As a reminder of how easy it is to make QR codes and animated QR codes with our API, here are some of the simplest workflows which work in any web browser.

Want a standard QR code? You can cut and paste this into your browser to get one:


https://api.acme.codes/new?format=png&msg=HelloScanningWorld!

Adjust the 'msg' parameter to make your own QR code.


Want a nicer QR code? Ask for better resolution and some color with:


https://api.acme.codes/new?format=png&msg=Hello&xres=800&yres=800&eyeColor=000088

Want a super cool QR code for putting on any electronic display? Ask for a demo animation with:


https://api.acme.codes/new?xres=800&yres=800&anim=Cube

Wait for about 30 seconds, then cut and paste the 'mp4' value returned into your browser. You can set the playback to 'loop' or 'repeat' to get it to cycle forever, always catching the eye of anyone passing by. And yes, you can use your own integrated image instead of our ACME logo, you just need to contact us at sales@acme.codes.

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