2D Codes

QR code is a format of 2D codes which emerged as an answer to people searching for ways to increase the amount of information in barcodes. The latest formats of 2D codes are capable of storing information in the form of character types, alphanumeric or Kanji characters, and these characters can be printed on a small space. Earlier, barcodes were used as a popular method for getting high speed reading accurately and the traditional 2D symbols took a greater amount of time for detecting the size, angle, and position of the symbol which also resulted in lower accuracy. In contrast, QR codes provide a more complex pattern which helped to give information about the position of the symbol and it can be arranged in the 3 corners of the symbols. These 2D barcodes have superior functionality and it can be printed in multiple layouts. The main aim to develop 2D barcodes is to provide symbols which can be interpreted easily using scanner equipment.

Although 2d codes are prevalent, QR codes are gradually eclipsing 2D codes. Some of the advantages of QR codes over traditional 2D codes are:

  • QR codes have a matrix type symbol with cell structures and it can be arranged in a square format. It contains a number of functionality patterns which ease the process of reading and it contains information in both vertical and horizontal directions. On the other hand, the one dimensional codes contain information only in one direction.
  • QR codes provide high-speed reading in all directions i.e. 360 degree reading because the reading matrix symbols can be implemented using the CCD sensors and the data scan can be stored in memory.
  • In the case of traditional 2D codes, the 2D code reader has to be placed in a way to be tilted to read the correct value of the code but QR codes comes with an alignment pattern which is arranged through regular intervals and it has integrated symbols. The error correction methodology in QR codes help to provide accurate reading of even distorted linear or non-linear symbols.
  • In comparison to traditional 2D codes, QR codes have a range of error correction levels which are implemented according to the damage/smudge methodology. It is utilized using the Reed-Solomon codes which are arranged in the QR code areas and it is also resistant to burst errors.
  • QR codes provide efficient encoding of Kanji or Kana characters. However in a general 2D expression, you need 16 bits for one character. In QR codes, you require just 13-bits, which mean the 2D codes are efficiently coded in QR codes.
  • QR code provides symbols with linking functionality which helps a single code to be represented in many symbols. The symbols can be divided into a maximum of 16 symbols.
  • QR codes have cells which are arranged properly and they help to provide special patterns. Also, it helps to accurately identify the data which can be interpreted by using the 2D code reader.

Additionally, the 2D code of QR codes can be encrypted easily and it helps to create relationships between character types. Also, the 2D code of QR codes provides high speed and accurate readability through 2D code reader and it can be directly marked through laser or dot pin markers. These features are absent in conventional 2D codes. In this light, 2D codes are slowly diminishing in popularity, making way for the QR codes.