Stylize Aesthetic QR Code

Mingliang Xu, Hao Su, Yafei Li, Xi Li, Jing Liao, Jianwei Niu, Pei Lv, Bing Zhou

With the continued proliferation of smart mobile devices, Quick Response (QR) code has become one of the most-used types of two-dimensional code in the world. Aiming at beautifying the visual-unpleasant appearance of QR codes, existing works have developed a series of techniques. However, these works still leave much to be desired, such as personalization, artistry, and robustness. To address these issues, in this paper, we propose a novel type of aesthetic QR codes, SEE (Stylize aEsthEtic) QR code, and a three-stage approach to automatically produce such robust style-oriented codes. Specifically, in the first stage, we propose a method to generate an optimized baseline aesthetic QR code, which reduces the visual contrast between the noise-like black/white modules and the blended image. In the second stage, to obtain art style QR code, we tailor an appropriate neural style transformation network to endow the baseline aesthetic QR code with artistic elements. In the third stage, we design an error-correction mechanism by balancing two competing terms, visual quality and readability, to ensure the performance robust. Extensive experiments demonstrate that SEE QR code has high quality in terms of both visual appearance and robustness, and also offers a greater variety of personalized choices to users.

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