If you’ve ever tried to scan a QR code using your phone’s camera, you know that sometimes it can be hit or miss. For example, sometimes the QR code might be printed on a busy background which could distract the camera from picking it up, or it might be a distance away and you can’t get the camera to focus.
It looks like that could soon be a thing of the past. According to a tweet by Mishaal Rahman, it appears that Google is working on an update to its ML Kit’s Barcode Scanning API. With this update, it seems that once the camera detects that a QR code is in view, it will automatically zoom in so that users won’t have to do so manually.
Google has updated ML Kit's Barcode Scanning API and the Code Scanner API with auto-zoom, enabling the camera to automatically zoom in to scan barcodes that are far away. The scanner will intelligently detect barcodes and zoom in so the user doesn't have to manually adjust zoom. pic.twitter.com/yZGjJsrgI9
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 3, 2023
As you can see in the video above, it seems to work pretty well. There is a slight delay from when it’s detected to when it’s zoomed in, but it’s not too bad where it’s unusable. That being said, this is an API which means that it’s up to developers to choose whether or not they want to incorporate the feature into their own apps.
Rahman also notes in a follow-up tweet that Google is already preparing to upgrade Android’s built-in QR code scanner with this auto-zoom feature, so we just need to wait until the feature is publicly available before taking it for a spin.