What is 2D barcode?
A 2D (two-dimensional) barcode is a graphical image that stores information both horizontally -- as one-dimensional bar codes do -- and vertically. As a result of that construction, 2D codes can store up to 7,089 characters, significantly greater storage than is possible with the 20-character capacity of a unidimensional barcode.
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2D barcodes are also known as quick response codes because they enable fast data access. 2D barcodes are often used in conjunction with smart phones. The user simply photographs a 2D barcode with the camera on a phone equipped with a barcode reader. The reader interprets the encoded URL, which directs the browser to the relevant information on a Web site. This capability has made 2D barcodes useful for mobile marketing. Some 2D barcode systems also deliver information in a message for users without Web access.
Here's a sampling how 2D barcodes are being used:
- Nike used 2D barcodes on posters along the route of an extreme sports competition. Mobile users captured barcodes to access sponsored pictures, video and data.
- Some newspapers include 2D barcodes on stories that link mobile users to developing coverage.
- 2D barcodes on products in stores link to product reviews.
- Some people post 2D barcodes that link to their blogs or Facebook pages.
See a simple demonstration of one use of 2D barcode:
Intermec Corporation created the first 2D bar code, called Code 49, in 1988.
Learn More About IT:
> Bar code 1 provides more information and useful links related to 2D bar codes.
> Brian Acohido reports on 2D barcode adoption in North America.