1D And 2D Barcode Scanner

In the olden days, when technology is not advanced yet and when you need to key in prices, Prices were keyed in manually. Compared to now, you use a Barcode system. It consists of a barcode scanner and a barcode label.

You may ask how does it help the businesses out there? These barcode systems make processes simpler, reducing human errors, saving time, improving productivity, and more. Various industries such as retail, transport, healthcare, and food have started to use a barcode system.

There are two types of barcodes: 1D and 2D. They are used in different types of applications and need different barcode scanners as well.

Let's talk about the differences between a 1D and 2D scanner.

What is a 1D barcode?

1D barcode

The very first barcodes implemented worldwide were 1D and are often referred to as “linear” barcodes as they are made up of vertical lines. 1D barcodes only contain alphanumeric data and you can find them on most consumer products, such as food packaging and cosmetic products.

What is a 2D barcode?

2D barcode

2D barcodes are smarter as they make use of patterns like hexagons, dots, squares and other shapes to store information. They are also smaller in size, making them ideal for items such as electronics and medical devices.

What are the main differences?

  1. Information available

    Unlike 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes not only contain alphanumeric data but also images, website addresses and more. All of these can be accessed by using a 2D scanner and some QR codes can even be read using certain smartphone apps. 2D scanners usually come in a ‘gun’ style or can be mounted on the tabletop. 

  2. Amount of data stored

    1D barcodes tend to have a limit on how much data can be stored because linear barcodes can only hold a few characters and get longer as more data is entered.

    2D barcodes encode data on both the vertical and horizontal patterns, allowing more information without having to increase their physical size. To access the information, different scanners are needed but some 2D scanners can double up and read 1D barcodes too.

    Barcode Scanner

  3. Types of scanners needed

    Laser scanners or linear imager scanners are required to read 1D barcodes whereas 2D barcodes can only be read with an imager scanner.

  4. Connectivity to a database

    1D and 2D barcodes are used to identify items and can be tied to a database in an application, which in turn provides more information about the items scanned. For example, Point-Of-Sale (POS) applications, will show the price or stock availability. This helps businesses with inventory management.

While 1D and 2D barcode scanners have their differences, they will not become obsolete. Both are useful and affordable to decode information and perform tracking.

The type of barcode to go for and which barcode scanner to use will depend on your industry or business needs, including the amount of information you are looking to store. 

At ALC Global, we carry a wide range of 1D and 2D barcode scanners that will help you to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Want to find out more about our different types of barcode scanners? Contact us today!