Reversible data hiding with histogram-based difference expansion for QR code applications

Hsiang Cheh Huang*, Feng Cheng Chang, Wai-Chi Fang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a new algorithm in reversible data hiding, with the application associated with the quick response (QR) codes. QR codes are random patterns, which can be commonly observed on the corner of posters or webpages. The goal of QR codes aims at convenienceoriented applications for mobile phone users. People can use the mobile phone cameras to capture QR code at the corner of web page, and then the hyperlink corresponding to the QR code can be accessed instantly. Since QR code looks like random noise and it occupies a corner of the original image, its existence can greatly reduce the value of the original content. Thus, how to retain the value of original image, while keeping the capability for the instant access for webpages, would be the major concern of this paper. With the aid of our reversible data hiding technique, the QR codes can be hidden into the original image, and considerable increase in embedding capacity can be expected. Next, we propose a scheme such that when the image containing the QR code is browsed, the hyperlink corresponding to the QR code is accessed first. Then, the QR code could get vanished and the original image would be recovered to retain the information conveyed therein. Simulation results demonstrate the applicability of the proposed algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5955222
Pages (from-to)779-787
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2011


  • Reversible data hiding
  • information protection
  • quick response (QR) codes
  • security

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