Barcode is a simple, effective and inexpensive technology which can be used to organize, classify and control items such as products, billings, documents or many others, depending of your type of business and needs. Also, depending of the barcode technology it can store images, websites addresses, voices and other binary data.
Nowadays we have two different classes of barcodes, the 1-Dimensional (1D) and the 2-Dimensional (2D), and there are some variances between them.
First, they are used on many types of applications, and sometimes are scanned using different types of technology. Also, their types vary according to the amount of data stored and layout.
1 – Dimensional Barcode
The traditional barcode (1D) is represented by some parallel bars putted together alternating between black and white. But in fact, this symbol is nothing else than numbers (represented by the bars), which can be read by a scan device and transformed to information. This technology has to be connected to a database to be meaningful. The data read by the scan has to be identified on database.
So why don’t we use numbers directly instead of barcode? In this case, numbers could not be very accurate, once they can be misprinted and the scanner could have difficulties reading them. For example, the number eight could look like a zero to a computer or the number six could be confused to the number nine as they are identical upside down.
Even knowing that barcodes represent numbers, it is still difficult to look at them and understand which numbers they are demonstrating. They are not visually easy to read. However, what we can know is that each digit in the product number is given 7 units of horizontal space. Then, to represent the numbers from 0 to 9, there are different “ways” to color this units, making a mix of black and white stripes.
2 – Dimensional Barcode
The 2D technology uses other types of symbols to compose the code, for example squares, hexagons, dots, and others. Its structure allows the barcode to hold more data, reaching up to 2000 characters, however, it’s visually smaller. The data is encoded on vertical and horizontal position and it is read in two dimensions, by imagers, which allows the code to be read from any direction.
One example of this 2D technology is the QR code, which has been used by many companies, specially by marketing and advertising teams.
The 2D technology doesn’t really need a database behind, once it can contain images, websites and any other binary data on its composition. So, if you are not connected to a database, you can still have information read by the barcode.
In short, both types of barcodes work very well and on an easy and low-cost way. The choice between the D1 or D2 will basically depend of your type of business, the requirements that it has for this feature, the type and amount of data you are going to store and also how and where the code will be scanned.