(A 2 minute read…)
Barcodes have been in use commercially for decades.
As businesses recognized the value of storing more information in these linear codes, they realized that the good, old-fashioned 1D barcode—which stores the equivalent of approximately 20 to 25 alphanumeric characters—wasn’t enough.
The 2D barcode has been around for over 10 years, but its use has gained popularity with the more recent, growing demand for more data.
This matrix format can hold about 7,000 digits or 4,000 characters in one small barcode.
To put this in perspective, you could store the Gettysburg Address in a 2D barcode.
For traceability, the ability to track every item all the way down to the original supplier’s aisle and bin is a major win. Click to learn more about traceability.
Does every user need thousands of encoded characters? Probably not.
But here are five more reasons to move over from 1D to 2D barcodes.
- Big data, smaller code.
The 2D barcode—like a QR code—can actually take up less space on your packaging than a linear barcode. When that real estate is at a premium, a matrix barcode makes more sense.
The compact 2D barcode incorporates an error-protection formula that a 1D barcode doesn’t have. That means you can read a matrix barcode when it is scratched, torn, and even marked on. You can’t do that with a 1D barcode.
- One scanner, more versatility.
A 2D barcode reader scans both 1D and 2D barcodes. A barcode scanner only captures a 1D barcode. So, you get a broader range of scanning with one reader—similar to a BluRay player that also plays DVDs, but you can’t watch a BluRay movie on a DVD player.
- 2D barcodes are omnidirectional.
With a 1D barcode, you often have to position the scanner carefully. It might take a few tries. A 2D barcode can be read from any angle. You save time when scanning, and there’s less wrist movement and strain on the user.
- Small code, big opportunity.
Consumers are familiar with barcodes. They understand that one quick scan with a smartphone could take them instantly to a special offer, informative website, or other marketing communication that you want them to view. With a QR code, you can take advantage of mobile couponing, increase your sales, build your customer loyalty list, and strengthen customer engagement. A 1D barcode doesn’t have this marketing superpower.
We can help you integrate 2D matrix barcodes into your business. Talk to us to discover how you can leverage these advantages.
About the Author:
RAD DeRose is the President & CEO of L-Tron Corporation. He has over 30 years experience in industrial automation and data collection technology solutions and brings a deep industry knowledge-base on the challenges faced in the commercial and public safety sectors. RAD can be reached at (800) 830-9523 x114; rad.derose@L-Tron.com.