How 1D and 2D barcodes are different

1D or linear codes found on common used consumer goods. It is a series of lines with specific space and variable-width to encode data. It just holds few dozen characters and physically become long as more data is added. 2D barcodes are like QR Code or Data Matrix. It is hexagonal, square or dots type pattern or shape to encode data. They can hold more data (hundreds of character) as compared to 1D. 2D can read in two dimensions, as vertical and horizontal arrangements encode data.

2D barcodes

2D does not just encode alphanumeric characters but also can encode images, website addresses, binary data, voice etc. A large amount of information can travel and access without even connected to database.

2D barcodes
Advantages of 2D over 1D


  • Improved traceability 2D barcodes

As 2D can store a lot of information as compared to 1D, it provides information about batch’s assigned location which increases traceability. Whereas 1D can only provide small information like product’s part number. When manufacturing thousands of products , manufacturers can access the location of product batches all the time. With whole information stored in the barcode, manufacture can conduct on-the-spot audits by scanning the barcode without even connect to the database.


  • Stronger inventory management

2D is increasingly now use in supply chain and management applications. Because the 2D barcodes can store information like assembly line, expiration date, number of batch of product, schedule ship date, batch production date etc. This strongly improves inventory management process by marking objects.

  • Versatile scan capabilities

1D scanner only read 1D barcodes while 2D scanner can read both 1D and 2D barcodes. Since 2D scanner are versatile, easy to operate and less costly as well. Operating 2D scanner can provide a lot of storing information capabilities.

2D barcodes

  • Loyalty program

It is a great way to save your time and access a lot of information. Just scan the 2D barcode behind your driver’s license to collect their personal information as well. 2D can be used to track any small items as your electronic printed circuit boards to surgical instruments as well. Techmasair

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