QR codes were first created back in 1994. A Toyota subsidiary named Denso Wave developed the code in order to help in the manufacturing process, they aided in tracking vehicles and parts. It was designed to allow for fast decoding speeds, hence the name Quick Response code. QR codes owe their existence to the development and success of barcodes. Since their creation barcodes became very popular due to the speed at which they could be scanned, the accuracy they provided, and their multiple functionalities. With increased popularity, and proper recognition of the convenience associated with barcodes, demand for barcodes that could store more information, had more variation, and would take up a smaller printing area continuously grew.
Thus, many efforts were made to improve the barcode technology and how much information they could store. What was done? The amount of digits in the codes were increased, layout was modified to include multiple codes, etc. However, these modifications came with drawbacks as well. The size of the barcode and printing space it needed increased, thus raising costs of printing. Also, with the developments came some occasional complications while attempting to read/scan the new codes.
In response to the increasing demands for storage capacity, functionality, accuracy, etc. in addition to the negative factors associated with the developments in bar code technology, came 2D (two-dimensional) QR codes. And as with the development of barcodes, since their creation QR codes have seen increasing population, developments in the technology to improve storage capacity and functionality, etc.