QR codes are a great way for users to communicate with microcontrollers, whether it’s passing WiFi credentials to set up connectivity or sending personal information to fill out a digital badge. Reading them from a maker project didn’t used to be easy though. You’d either needed a large and relatively expensive standalone module, or your own software solution on a board with a camera.
The Tiny Code Reader from Useful Sensors is smaller than a quarter, very low cost, and connects through Qwiic. This makes it the perfect add-on for all kinds of projects that could benefit from text input, but don’t have a keyboard or touch screen. Since QR codes are also easy to share over email, text, or even paper, they can also be used as passwords for access control on security-minded products.
It comes with a comprehensive developer guide, which includes example code for popular systems like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Pico W, CircuitPython, and MicroPython, along with complete project tutorials for Wifi provisioning, keyboard input, and display updating.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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