I am sure, just like me, you might have also experienced a situation where you faced issues scanning a QR code that has been placed far off. Maybe you are in a crowded marketplace and are unable to reach the QR code, or maybe, you want to scan a code placed on the wall across the room. There can be multiple instances like this. To solve this issue, Google is planning to implement a new feature that will let you scan QR codes from a distance. Learn more about this feature in detail below.
Google Code Scanner: Details
To provide us respite from this issue, it seems like Google is bringing an auto-zoom feature to its Code Scanner API on Android. With this feature, you can easily scan QR Codes that are far off without needing to manually adjust the zoom and ensure optimal framing of the scanner. This feature was first spotted and reported by Mishaal Rahman via X (formerly Twitter). The same has been updated in the ML Kit Library available to developers as part of API library version 17.2.0.
To achieve this functionality, the API will make use of Google’s on-device Machine Learning capabilities for code interpretation. But, to maintain user privacy, the API only outputs a barcode object to the app. The ML Kit page states, “The Google code scanner API provides a complete solution for scanning code without requiring your app to request camera permission, while preserving user privacy. This is accomplished by delegating the task of scanning the code to Google Play services and returning only the scan results to your app. All image processing occurs on the device and Google doesn’t store the results or image data.”
One of the key highlights of this new auto-zoom feature is that it will not restrict itself to Google’s QR Code Scanner app only. Developers of other apps can also implement this feature into their QR code scanner apps without the need to grant camera permissions. This will both save time for developers as well as maintain a high level of privacy for users.
As of now, it is unclear when Google plans to make this feature available to Android users. However, we are sure that this feature is going to greatly benefit users in a country like India. A majority of the population uses QR codes on a daily basis for making transactions, thanks to UPI. With that said, do let us know your thoughts on this auto-zooming feature for QR code scanning in the comment below.