QR Codes vs. Barcodes: What’s The Difference?

Many aspects of life revolve around digital information these days. Every time a person turns to the internet with questions or logs into a computer system for work or school, the digital world comes into play. Phones, faxes, and other essential equipment are now digital, and even today’s vehicles are armed with various types of digital technology.

The same is also true of banking and countless other sectors. Of course, tasks like shopping and shipping are also based largely on digital information. That’s where barcodes and QR codes come into play.

Digging Deeper into Barcodes and QR Codes

Barcodes and QR codes are appearing virtually everywhere. These black-and-white images have, in fact, become crucial. Though they may appear simplistic on the surface, they actually hold a wealth of information for businesses, consumers, and other entities to take advantage of.

Having said that, quite a few people are left wondering just what barcodes and QR codes are and what might be the differences between the two. Other than appearance, they have a few distinct differences.

What Are Barcodes?

Bar codes are the series of parallel vertical lines you see on virtually every product on store shelves. Codes are embedded within those lines that tell a few details about the items bearing them.

Most of them contain the price of the product and other information, such as the manufacturer or origin. Those conventional barcodes are known as UPCs, or universal product codes.

Other types of products are also used, including PDF417s found on drivers’ licenses and delivery packages. They’re used in warehouses as well and can contain product names, location identification, and other details.

Data matrix and 2D barcodes are frequently used, too. They can be encoded with more information than basic barcodes because of their design.

What Are QR Codes?

QR codes, on the other hand, are three-dimensional codes. They’re squares designed to be read both vertically and horizontally by scanners.

Because of their multidirectional nature, they can hold a great deal more information than other types of barcodes. They can go as far as to provide product features and details, information about the manufacturer, and much more.

While barcodes are exceedingly common right now, QR codes are also becoming increasingly popular. They appear on television screens for viewers to scan with their phones.

From there, the viewer may be taken to a website or special offer. They’re even being placed on tables in restaurants for patrons to scan with their phones so they can view menus and other types of information.

Businesses are using them to provide payment portals for their customers and for a growing list of additional purposes.

Taking Technology to the Next Level

Different types of barcodes are incredibly helpful for stocking items on store shelves, speeding up the checkout process, and facilitating logistics and delivery.

QR codes essentially take technology to new heights, though. When they were initially developed, many people thought QR codes would be little more than a short-lived novelty.

In reality, they’ve become integral for companies in numerous industries as well as their customers.

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