Wednesday, October 30, 2013

QR Code. History and Purpose.

QR Code

QR code is an abbreviation for quick response code. It is a type of 2-D barcode (also known as matrix barcode). Unlike 1-d barcode, QR codes can encode wide variety of data types, including numeric, alphabets, special characters and binary data as well.
QR code consists of a set of square dots arranged in a square grid pattern with white back ground. The square dots are randomly arranged in order to encode information.

History

QR code was invented in 1994 by a Japanese automotive company named, Denso Wave. Denso Wave is a subsidiary of Toyota Motors

Purpose

Purpose of QR code was to develop such an encoding/ decoding system which allows quick and reliable scanning of fast moving automotive equipment. In workshops, automotive parts are moved quickly from one place to another and are adjusted together. It is difficult to read such type of moving information with simpler barcodes; hence QR Code was developed to cater those needs.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Aztec Barcodes. Advantages, Limitations and Usage.

read the first part here

Advantages

Can encode all the 256 ASCII and extended ASCII characters.
High density barcode can encode large amount of data in small barcode.
As is the case with other 2-D barcodes. Aztec has extremely high damage tolerance capability; therefore a damage Aztec code can also be read unlike 1-D barcodes.
Self-error checking and correction capability.

Limitations

Cannot be scanned with simple scanning devices. Needs complex laser scanners.
Requires substantial amount of training to understand. Not easy for a layman user to encode and decode Aztec code.

Usage

Aztec code is used in travel and transport industry. Many transport companies such as Slovakian Railways, Czech Railways, Deutsche Bahm, Eurostar, KPK Intercity, Swiss Federal Railways, Virgin Trains, VR Group and Via Rails. These companies use Aztec code for the online ticketing which user can print.
Airline companies have also adopted Aztec and this code is often inscribed on the board passes of the travellers.
In Poland, registration documents of the vehicles have Aztec code inscribed on them which contains summary of the vehicle’s information.
Many companies in Canada use Aztec code on their invoices which contain the detail of the purchase and bill summary.

Conclusion

The best utilization of Aztec code is when one wants to encode extended ASCII characters because this is the code which allows the encoding of ASCII and all extended ASCII characters.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Aztec Barcode. History and Purpose

Aztec Barcode

Aztec Barcode is a high density, high capacity barcode. It is a type of 2-D barcodes. Aztec code is able to encode ASCII as well as Extended ASCII characters. Aztec barcode consist of black and white square modules like other 2-D barcodes. Aztec code can encode modules in the range from 15 x 15 to an upper limit of 151 to 151 modules. If Aztec code utilizes its maximum storage capacity of 151 x 151 modules it can encode 3000 characters and around 3750 numerical digits.

History

AIM, Inc, in 1997 published Aztec code for the first time. Andrew Longrace Jr and Robert Hussey are credited for having designed the initial barcode standard in 1995. The center of the Aztec code is similar in resemblance to the Aztec Pyramid. It is for this reason that this code has been named Aztec barcode.

Purpose

Aztec is a 2-D barcode. Like other 2-D barcodes, major purpose of developing Aztec code is to provide data encoding mechanism which could encode large amount of data in small area due to high density and which has substantial fault tolerance and error correction mechanism. Aztec code satisfies these requirements.

to be continued

Monday, October 14, 2013

UPC-A and UPC-E. Purpose, Advantages, Limitations and Usage.

read the first part here


Purpose

It is one of the oldest and most widely used barcodes. The purpose of developing UPC was to develop such a shopping or buying system where salesperson does not have to manually enter the information of a product in the database. This saves time and minimizes human error unlike manual information entry. For this purpose, IBM developed UPC in order to ensure, quick, easy and reliable information encoding for the retail products.

Advantages

One of the oldest barcode types, extremely portable.

Contains only numerals; simple and easy to encode and decode.

Self-checking mechanism through checksum digit.

Limitations

Only numeric data encoding/decoding. Can’t encode characters and special characters.

Little tolerance for damage. Cannot be decoded even if slightly damaged.

Require close contact scanners to decode information.

Usage 

UPC-A is mostly used in USA, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Canada for encoding larger and simpler information.

Used mostly in retail stores and small products. UPC-E is even shorter, and used mostly for food products.

Conclusion

UPC  barcodes should be used in simple and retail stores product which do not require complex information encoding.

UPC-A and UPC-E barcodes can be generated by Bytescout BarCode  SDK and read by  BarCode Reader SDK.


Friday, October 11, 2013

UPC-A and UPC-E. History.

UPC-A and UPC-E

UPC stands for Universal Product Code. It is type of linear barcodes and mostly widely used for retail applications.
There are two variations of UPC
UPC-A
UPC-E

UPC-A

UPC-A is a variation of UPC and uses 12 digits for information encoding. Out of these 12 digits, 11 digits contain the product information while the last digit is the checksum digit. The eleven product digits are further divided into three logical categories. The first digit represents the information regarding the type of the product. The next five digits contain information about the manufacturer of the product while the last 5 digits contain information about the specific product being encoded.

UPC-E

UPC-E is a shorter version of UPC-A. UPC-E contains 7 digits in total of which 6 digits contain the product information whereas the last digit is the checksum digit. UPC-E is also referred as “Zero Suppressed” version of UPC-A because it suppresses all trailing zeros in the manufacturer’s information digits and all leading zeros from product information digits along with number system digit.

History

UPC was designed by an IMB Engineer named George Laurer in 1971. IBM has originally asked him to base his barcode design on bull’s eye pattern but he developed a barcode with pattern of vertical strips. With certain modifications and up-gradations, in 1974, the first UPC was pasted on a pack of Wrigley’s gum which marked the paradigm shift in the way people use to shop.


to be continued

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Data Matrix

Data Matrix

Data Matrix is a type of 2-D barcode with very high data density and can encode large amount of data. Data Matrix consists of random sequence of black and white pairs. Data matrix code type can encode text, as well as raw data. The range of the data encoded by Data matrix usually lies between few bytes up to 2 kilobytes. With this data storage space, approximately 2,335 alphanumeric characters can be encoded by a data matrix symbol. Data Matrix coding standard is widely used in Europe and United states for information encoding.

History

ID Matrix is credited as being the inventor of Data Matrix barcode around 2005. ID Matrix later on merged into RVSI Acuity ciMatrix, Siemens Energy and automation acquired RVSI Acuity ciMatrix in October 2005.

Purpose

Like other 2-D barcodes, basic purpose of developing Data Matrix code type was to design a barcode which is denser and can accommodate large amount of data, is extremely secure with built in error correction and higher fault tolerance mechanism. All of these objectives have been met by Data Matrix bar code.

Advantages

Similar to contemporary 2-D codes, Data Matrix can store large amount of data with minimum space utilization,
It has built-in error correction mechanism. It uses ECC200 error correction code for error correction purposes.
Extremely high fault tolerance and can be decoded even if substantial amount of code is damaged.

Limitations

There is only one major limitation of Data Matrix barcodes. Users have to have laser scanner or CCD cameras in order to correctly scan and encode information stored in these barcodes, it cannot be scanned by a simple scanner.

Usage

Data matrix code is widely used in automotive part making industry as well as for laser marketing.
In aerospace equipment manufacturing industry, data matrix code is widely used on airplane parts. Air Transport Association (ATA) recommends the use of Data Matrix barcode to its members.
Data Matrix is used on digital postage stamps recognized by Deutsche Postal Service.
Mobile marketing has also adopted Data Matrix code and it is known as SemaCode in mobile applications.
EIA (Electronics Institute of America), highly recommends the use of Data Matrix code in order to label small to medium sized electronics equipment.
Data Matrix code are inscribed on medical and surgical equipment’s.

Conclusion

Data Matrix codes are considered smallest and most compact of all the bar code types. If you want to store a large amount of data in a barcode, Data Matrix is the most recommended barcode type. It can be easily generated with Bytescout BarCode SDK and read with BarCode Reader SDK.

Friday, October 04, 2013

PDF417

PDF417

PDF417 is a 2-d barcode type with high density and data encoding capability. It can encode huge amount large amount of data. PDF417 actually consists of set of linear codes stacked together to give a 2-d outlook. It is has been named PDF417 because it consists 4 bars along with white spaces, where each bar is 17 units long. PDF417 is also referred as Macro PDF, Macro PDF417 or the portable data file.

History

PDF 417 was developed in the year 1991 by a researcher named Dr. Ynjiun P. Wang at Symbol Technologies. Recently Symbol Technologies has been bought by Motorola.

Purpose

The basic purpose of PDF417 barcode type was to develop an encoding technique which could encode huge and complex data types. Before PDF417, most of the encoding techniques could only encode alpha numeric data along with some special characters, however there was a need of barcode which could encode large files, images and complex data, for this purpose PDF417 was developed which suffice the said requirement.

Advantages

Can encode large variety of data types such as numeric, alphabets, binary, special characters. It can also store files including photographs, signatures, finger prints and several types of graphic formats.
Can be scanned with handheld scanners as well as linear CCD scanners
PDF417 is has extremely high density and can store large amounts of data like other 2-d barcodes.
User can specify the length and width of the barcode unlike standard widths and lengths.
No license is required to print this barcode format. It has Public Domain Format.
Large damage tolerance like other 2-d barcodes.
Built-in error detection mechanism

Limitations

It is often larger in size as compared to other 2-d barcodes like QR code and datamatrix.
It is extremely sensitive to the angle of the scanner and tilted scanner might not be able to decode correct information.

Usage

PDF417 barcode type can be used to print postages which are recognized by the United States Postal Department.
PDF417 is extensively used in transportation sector, particularly in the automotive industry like QR Code and other 2-d barcodes.
Used in airline industry. PDF417 is inscribed on boarding passes.
Inscribed on driving licenses and Real ID, issued by The Departments of Homeland Security.

Conclusion

In scenarios where we need to store complex data information in a barcode such as images and high graphic data, PDF417 is the best data format to use.

Bytescout BarCode  SDK and BarCode Reader SDK are able to generate and read PDF417 .

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

2-D Barcodes

read the previous parts here and here


2-D Barcodes

2-D barcodes are more complex and store data in the form of a matrix or stack. Stacked 2-D barcodes contain data in the form stacks of linear barcodes whereas matrix 2-D barcodes store data in the form of hexagonal, square or circular cells. They can store data in both vertical and horizontal direction.

Advantages of 2-D barcodes

These barcodes can store much larger amount of data ranging up to thousands of alphanumeric characters.
Error correction formula can be embedded into barcode which helps in the retrieval of data in case barcode is damaged up to 15 to 20%.
Variety of data can be embedded into these barcodes such as numeric, binary, text and Unicode data.

Disadvantages of 2-D barcodes 

Specialized hardware and software scanners are required to generate and decode these barcodes which can be expensive.
Complex algorithm needs to be designed for 2-D barcodes which make things much complex as compared linear barcodes.

bytescout.com Barcode Generator and Barcode Reader SDK

If you want to take benefits from the capabilities if barcode and want to generate linear and 2-D barcodes, you should definitely check our BarCode Generator SDK. It contains amazing barcode generation capabilities both for linear and 2-D barcodes. Similarly, if you want to scan and read barcodes from pictures, PDF, TIFF files or web camera - check our BarCode Reader SDK"