What Information Does a BarCode Hold? - ByteScout
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What Information Does a BarCode Hold?

To understand what information is stored on a barcode, you must first know what a barcode is and how barcodes work. A barcode is an encoded image, usually displayed with black and white lines of varying width that contains vital information easily readable by a machine.

Barcodes store information using symbols that can vary from lines to dots, such as in the matrix barcoding. There are many types of barcodes, such as one dimensional and two-dimensional barcodes, that determine the exact type of data that can be encoded unto it.

When the machine fails to read a barcode, the person can enter the barcode number and get the information required; this is seen frequently in supermarkets and stores.

Also, knowing what information is stored on a specific barcode will depend on what type of object that barcode is printed on. A barcode found on a grocery item will contain different data than a barcode on your driver’s license for example.

Food barcode information typically houses a short product description that gets referenced to set pricing in many automated checkout systems. Most products that you come in contact with on a day to day basis will have encoded information that allows for the store’s checkout system to quickly and easily find and register the product being bought, current price, modify the quantity on the database and apply for any existing sales or promotions.

Watch this brief video and discover what info is stored on a BARCODE:

What information is in a 1D barcode?

One dimensional barcode also referred to as linear barcodes, can only store information horizontally from left to right. They are the simplest types of codes that can be read by any barcode scanner rapidly.

The drawback is the limited amount of space available in 1D barcodes, which downsizes how much information a barcode can hold.

Linear barcodes can hold anywhere between 8-25 characters, but the more information that is stored the bigger the barcode gets. Imagine the size of a linear barcode if a person wishes to store even a paragraph worth of characters!

It is for this sole reason that many businesses settle within a range of 8-15 characters, which keeps the barcode at a respectable and printable size.

This set of 8-25 characters can be used to store product descriptions, customer or item identification, pricing, tracking information, and more. Essentially, any type of data can be stored in a 1D barcode, excluding special characters. Remember that a single letter counts as one character and it is why many industries prefer the more modern 2D barcodes for data storage.

Try ByteScout BarCode Reader freeware to get explicit information about your barcodes!

What information do barcodes contain (2D)?

Two-dimensional barcodes are more complex than their counterparts, permitting users to accumulate anywhere between 1-2,000 characters of encoded data. 2D barcodes encrypt data horizontally and vertically, which allows for more versatile use.

In order to read these types of barcodes, however, no ordinary barcode reader can be used. It requires the use of an image scanner.

A great advantage to using 2D barcodes is the ability to use any keyboard character, including the ones that fall under a special category, giving the user an endless manner of referencing and cross-referencing encoded data.

Similar to the 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes have the same uses and more. Inventory tracking, sale registry, supply chain management, mobile marketing, and logistics are just a few other uses that can be given to these types of barcodes.

An added perk to 2D barcodes is the possibility of encoding images or links unto a barcode that can be uploaded or accessed via an image scanner, such as a smartphone’s camera.

Check Online barcode reader and Online QR code reader from ByteScout!

Generating QR Code

Finding the exact barcode information and doing a barcode information search

If you are determined in investigating the exact information that a particular barcode has stored, then you will need to do a bit of work.

The first step is finding out what type of barcode you are dealing with. Afterward, you can look for downloadable software or online websites that can decode (or read) that type of barcode. Once you have the software or converter set up, you will be able to find the encoded information.

An online search will result in thousands of possible locations to decode your barcode. It is wise to choose a safe and reliable source if you are going to upload sensitive data or download software to your electronic device.

Many modern-day barcodes can actually be read by your smartphone’s camera so checking to see if your phone is compatible with barcode reading technology can be a simple and easy way to decode any given barcode.

Another way of decoding the barcode in question is by buying an actual barcode or image scanner. This is only recommended if you will be reading numerous barcodes for a period of time because it can be costly in the long run. One dimensional barcode readers tend to be cheaper than 2D barcode scanners.

The data that is found can be further encoded according to the owner of the business’s discretion. For example, it may only be a list of numbers or letters that mean nothing to you but can be easily understood by the system that created it.

Therefore, it is a good idea to have a general understanding of how a barcode works and the types of barcodes that exist in order to further decipher the information.

How Do Barcodes Work and What Information is Stored on them – QR Codes

Quick Response Code (QR Code) is a type of a 2D matrix barcode trademark. It was invented in Japan in 1994 for use in the automotive industry. Like a barcode, QR code is an optical label that contains information attached to it. They’re machine-readable.

The information stored in QR codes often points to a site or an app. The code stores locator, identifier or tracker info in the form of various standardized encoding modes such as numeric, binary/byte, alphanumeric, and kanji. Extensions can also be used to hold information efficiently.

The QR code system offers fast readability and great storage capacity. As a result, it increased in popularity and found use in other industries, unlike the standard UPC information barcodes. QR codes find use in time tracking, extracting product information by barcode tracking, document management, item identification, and overall marketing.

A QR code comprises of a white background with black squares organized in square grids. Imaging devices such as cameras and barcode readers use the Reed-Solomon error correction to interpret QR codes. Data stored in the vertical and horizontal elements are extracted from the QR code patterns.

Why Use QR Codes?

Unlike traditional barcodes, QR codes store up to a hundred times more data. Moreover, you can scan QR codes from any direction and at any angle up to 3600. Therefore, there’s reduced risk of interference in the background and the QR code becomes easier to read.

QR codes are unique and interesting, making it easier to engage customers in marketing campaigns. You can download a free QR code reader to your smartphone. Use QR code generators to create QR codes.

What Information does a Barcode Contain – The Structure of QR Codes

What information is in a barcode?

Upon glancing at QR codes, the pixel patterns checkered black and white look like random small crossword puzzles. Take a close look, and you’ll spot specific structures on QR codes.

Wondering what information is stored on a barcode? Quick Response codes are square and feature the following elements for accurate reading with a scanner or QR code reader.

  • Positioning Markings – these markings showcase the direction of the printed code.
  • Alignment Markings – these markings help orientate large QR codes.
  • Time Pattern – the lines help determine the size of the data matrix.
  • Version Barcode Information – provides a specific version of the QR code in use. Although QR codes are available in up to 40 versions, only the first 7 versions are in use.
  • Format Information – the patterns store format information on the data mask pattern, and the error tolerance making it easier to use a scanner to read the QR code.
  • Keys for Error and Data Correction – this is where the actual data is stored in the QR code.
  • Quiet Zone – the spacing the scanner uses to differentiate the QR code from its surrounding environment.

What information is not stored on a barcode?

Barcodes contain details about a product such as the size, type, and manufacturer. However, it doesn’t contain price information, which is often stored in a database.

What happens if a QR Code is damaged?

The data keys contain redundancies or data duplications to ensure that QR codes can still be scanned and read even if they get damaged. Therefore, up to 30% of damages occurring to the QR code structure doesn’t affect the code’s readability.

How much information can be stored in a QR Code?

Are you wondering what type of information is stored in a QR code?

A QR code can store characters, digits, special characters and punctuations such as colons. Phrases and words such as web addresses can also be stored in the codes. The structural complexity and size of quick response code are directly proportional to the amount of information it holds.

How much info can a QR code hold?  As mentioned, 4296 characters and 7089 digits.

How to Generate a QR Code

How is information stored in a QR code?

Use a QR code generator to create codes. Whether you use an app or a web-based code generator, select the code type you want to generate and enter the data you want to store in the code. When done, click on “Create QR Code” to generate the code. Finally, choose an appropriate QR code format and download the code.

How to Scan a QR Code – How to Get Product Information from a Barcode

Install a QR code scanner app on your phone or barcode reader, start the solution and run your smartphone camera over the code to scan it. The scanner then auto extracts the encoded barcode info such as action or address from the code if it’s readable.

Types of QR Codes

  • Model 1 and 2 QR Codes
  • Micro QR Code
  • IQR Code
  • SQRC
  • Frame QR
  • HCC2D

QR Codes Application

QR codes find use in the following application areas:

  • Augmented reality to help determine object position in 3D spaces.
  • Mobile operating systems with built-in QR code readers. Phones with such OS don’t require an external app to read QR codes. They support URL redirection that enables metadata to be transmitted to existing device apps. QR code scanning apps work in the same way.
  • Redirecting of URLs from smartphones for instant access.
  • Virtual stores allow users to scan the QR codes of products from home or in retail stores to access information such as coupons.
  • QR code payment in countries such as China and India. The codes are used to store credit card or bank account information to facilitate payments. Cryptographic currencies such as Bitcoin use QR codes to store transaction information, payment addresses and cryptographic keys to share with digital wallets and support payments.
  • Verified smartphones are used to scan QR codes on website or computer login screens. The smartphone contacts the server to perform authentication.
  • Smartphones are used to scan QR codes for Wi-Fi networks to extract encryption type, static SSID, and passphrase or passwords to log into networks.
  • Funerary use to give access to virtual tombstones in Japan and Uruguay.
  • Scanning TOTP secrets to creating time-sensitive one-time passwords.
  • Encrypted QR codes as in the Japanese immigration system on the landing passports permission stamps.
  • QR codes are also used in video games and loyalty programs.

Are you looking for a QR code reader or generator for your business? Contact us for more information.

 

About the Author

ByteScout Team

ByteScout Team of Writers

ByteScout has a team of professional writers specialized in different technical topics. We select the best writers to cover interesting and trending topics for our readers. We love developers and we hope our articles help you learn about programming and programmers.

 

 

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