I’ve been playing around a lot with the Shape Detection API in Chrome a lot and I really like the potential it has, for example a very simple QRCode detector I wrote a long time ago has a JS polyfill, but uses new BarcodeDetector() API if it is available. You can see some of the other demo’s I’ve built here using the other capabilities of the shape detection API: Face Detection,Barcode Detection and Text Detection.
I was in China a couple of weeks ago for the Google Developer Day and I was showing everyone my QRCode scanner, it was working great until I went offline. When the user was offline (or partially connected) the camera wouldn’t start, which meant that you couldn’t snap QR codes. It took me an age to work out what was happening, and it turns out I was mistakenly starting the camera in my onload event and the Google Analytics request would hang and not resolve in a timely manner.
I’m a big fan of QRCodes, they are very simple and neat way to exchange data between the real world and the digital world. For a few years now I’ve had a little side project called QRSnapper — well it’s had a few names, but this is the one I’ve settled on — that uses the getUserMedia API to take live data from the user’s camera so that it can scan for QR Codes in near real time.
The other week I talked about Face Detection via the Shape API that is in the Canary channel in Chrome. Now barcode detection is in Chrome Canary too (Miguel is my hero ;) Barcodes are huge! they are on nearly every product we buy. Even the much maligned QRCode is huge outside of the US and Europe. The barcode and the QRcode provide a simple way for you to bridge the physical world and the digital world by transferring small amounts of data between the medium and you.
The fastest QR Code scanner on the web