Barcode Basics – Common barcodes used today

The two most common types of barcodes used today are the 1D and 2D symbologies. You can find a barcode anywhere and everywhere in today’s world. From everyday shopping to working in all types of industries. The barcode has made it’s presence known and for a good reason. It literally makes everyone’s life much simpler like, scanning that tag you see at your local BestBuy to get that lowest price online. A barcode and scanner can be find even in your local Starbucks! I’m sure you noticed everyone using their phones to scan the barcode to pay for their coffee. Yep, that’s a 2D barcode they’re using. Let’s dig deeper into the world of barcodes.

Introduction to Barcodes

I’m sure you have come across a laser scanner in your daily travels and maybe you haven’t even noticed one. Scanners are used to capture the data behind every barcode. The data can be as simple as the number of items stocked in a warehouse to locating the item in the warehouse. Adding all the data to a label saves time and manpower for actually replacing the need for an individual to do the work.

The majority of barcode types do not have a universal application. Meaning a 1D barcode isn’t the do-all barcode and can not do what a 2D barcode is capable of doing. The flexibility of a 2D imager is quit useful to industries whose environments are likely to require a device that can read multiple symbology types.

The flexibility of a 2D imager

Capturing every barcode is possible with a 2D imager which can read both 1D and 2D barcodes. Both, from paper and electronic screens such as cell phones or computer screens. This enables the user to read virtually any barcode that may come across their path.
Even if a label is slightly damaged, torn, smudged or poorly printed with a 2D imager its designed to read damaged barcodes.

Examples of Barcode Symbologies

Barcodes can be divided into symbologies, or barcode languages, which support different types and amounts of data.

Basics of barcodes in 1D and 2D symbologies

Barcodes are divided into two main types being one-dimensional (1D) and the other two-dimensional (2D). The 1D barcodes are the most widely adopted and oldest of the two types which is composed of vertical black bars and white spaces of varying lengths. 2D barcodes store the information vertically and horizontally to support much more amounts of data.

Zebra Technologies, one of the leaders in the barcode world offers a very nice info-graph which shines a much brighter light on the differences between the two types. Discover the black-and-white on the most widely adopted method of data transmission here.