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How Far Can You Damage A QR Code Before It's Unreadable?

What does it take to take down a QR code? More than I would have guessed, actually. In a blog post, engineer Nick Berry made a quick response code pointing to his company's website,, then distorted the code in 31 ways to see which distortions would make the code unreadable to his scanner. The result is a bit Dr. Seussian. Does it scan with yellow dots? Does it scan with stuff on top? Much more often than I expected, the codes did scan, both for Berry and for me, when I pointed my own phone at them. You can visit Berry's blog to try them yourself.

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