AR-Code:a Fast Path to Augmented Reality

From qrcode to AR.js content

Jerome Etienne
Apr 4, 2017 · 5 min read

We just found a fast path for augmented reality, by using qrcodes to reach augmented reality content. We call them “AR-Code”. It makes it even easier to reach augmented reality content. This changes things quite a bit, so I wanted to tell you about it.

Show don’t tell

First, you read the qrcode with your phone. It will open a url to some AR.js content. Then your phone will use the camera to find out the position of the marker and display 3d content on top of it, as you can see on the right.

It is that simple!

AR-Code on the left — On the right, the 3d which appears on it

AR.js and qrcode flow well together

AR.js is efficient Augmented Reality for the web. It is all in javascript and runs in any browser with WebGL and WebRTC. It is very fast too, reaching 60fps even on 2 year-old phone.

I think AR.js and qrcode can work well together. They both need to have images printed. They are both used on phones. They have the same flow, you point your phone at it and something happens. Both are related to location. AR.js and qrcodes definitely flow well together.

AR-Code User Flow

The ‘going-back’ aspect has a nice psychological connotation, the user does it to see more, to have a wider point of view on the whole thing. It goes back because something magical will popup from this maker. This reinforces him/her in the feeling that his/her reality is going to be augmented.

Generate your Own AR-Code

Screenshot of AR-Code Generator

Some AR-Code Features

One important feature is that AR-Code are trans-media links — “from paper print to augmented reality”. They give a new dimension to the printed message (figuratively and literally). Before, you were telling your audience something on a printed page, now you can tell them more in augmented reality. It is more dynamic, more shiny, less anonymous than an inanimate printed page.

Another thing is that a marker is fully passive. It is just a printed thing. They don’t need electrical power. They don’t break down all of a sudden, like electronic stuff. They don’t need somebody to attend to them.

AR-Code ’s Possible Usages


Just imagine that you are bored waiting for your flight at the airport, or that you are in the waiting room for your doctor’s appointment. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time looking, not at normal magazines, but at new generation magazines enhanced with augmented reality. These magazines would have markers printed on them, and through your phone, you would be able to experience live 3d action of the products that interest you. Or give them to your kids to play with.

Also, another idea is to to print the markers in yellow-pages book, to give that modern technological touch to a way of advertising that has become moot.

Education books

Comic book


City Informations


PS: Why not a marker in a qrcode ?

Marker inside a qr-code

Let me explain why. When doing augmented reality, the marker needs to be large, thus AR.js can estimate its position with more accuracy. If it is too small on the camera, it won’t cover enough pixels and the 3d will start shaking.

On the other hand, qrcodes doesn’t have to be large, the user can easily get close to the image when scanning it. So it makes sense to put the qrcode inside the marker and not the other way around.

Thanks for reading and share if you like. You can contact me anytime @jerome_etienne


Efficient Augmented Reality for the Web