1D, 2D, RFID: A Beginner’s Guide to Barcode Types

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barcodes-in-life-imageBarcodes are becoming more and more present in our everyday lives. We encounter barcodes from the start of our day to its finish. With the daily appearance of barcodes in our lives, be it the new QR Codes or the ubiquitous barcodes on grocery and clothing items, barcodes are a basic part of life and an integral need for many businesses.

Before we delve into our beginner’s guide of barcode types, here is a brief history of the origins of the humble barcode – from the discovery of the need to the first packaged barcode item:

 

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History of the Barcode – Source: Wasp

 

 

1D Barcode

Example of a 1D Barcode

1-Dimensional Barcodes are the most common. Found on nearly every commercially-sold product, a 1-D barcode is simply a row of lines that represents a string of characters. The characters are then tied to a product in a database, like an identification number. The barcode above, when scanned, would populate a field with “1-Dimensional Barcode Scanner” but since it is not tied to a database, it would not mean anything. Essentially, with 1D Barcodes you’d need a database of product information to create a system.

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2D Barcode — Healthcare Industry

2D Barcode

2-Dimensional Barcodes are growing in popularity, especially in the form of QR codes – most businesses now include these on marketing materials and business cards. They are able to store more information than a basic barcode, because of its matrix format. For that reason, they are also really great for the healthcare industry, as they can store multiple fields of data about a patient on a wristband, including allergies, conditions, and patient vital information. You might also notice 2D barcode patterns on mail, airline or movie tickets, and many other places.

3D Barcode

rfid-imageRFID, or Radio-Frequency Identification tags are basically “3D,” in that they broadcast the information as an electromagnetic field. They can both read and write information, and are thus much more interactive than the first two types. There are many applications for this, from tracking your pet to having a toll-tag on your car, or even near-field readers like hotel room locks or interactive children’s toys.

These types of tags are still somewhat cost-prohibitive for the average business, as the price of an RFID chip grows exponentially as the read-distance grows. However, this technology is eventually expected to replace conventional barcodes, with uses in development like instant-checkout when you push your grocery basket out the door, or taking inventory of an entire warehouse with one button-press.

 

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YOU MAY LIKE: Open Source Project Vision-Free Grasping With RFID and Touchscreens


 

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The new AML LDX10 mobile computer provides a true all-in-one device that is incredibly easy to use and highly customizable. Each unit comes pre-loaded with a series of “apps” that allow for the collection of various kinds of information. These range from simple “Item Count” applications, to more advanced “Check In/Out” functions as well. These applications are presented on a clean and easy to understand interface, which allows even a basic user to familiarize themselves and be fully operational in a very short time.

In addition the LDX10 can be further customized to suit your business needs via AML’s free “DC Console” software. This program allows a user to edit existing applications for the scanner, or build brand new applications from scratch at no additional cost. These custom setups can be grouped into a brand new “suite”, delivering a set of tools that are perfect for the specific needs of the users business. AML also offers a fantastic comprehensive warranty option for the LDX10 and ongoing technical support to ensure the scanner continues making business easier on the end user for years to come.

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See it in action:

 

 

About AML:

Headquartered in Euless, Texas, AML was founded in 1983 with the desire to provide customers with easy to use barcode data collecting technology. All AML hardware is manufactured in the United States. With in-house engineering, excellent technical support, and an “Everything Included” philosophy, AML has become a brand name leader in handheld scanners and mini-kiosks.

Nominees: CipherLab, Unitech, Honeywell

AML LDX10 Mobile Computer Reviews

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