The emerging new barcode

Just about every consumer product and many industrial products currently contain the standard UPC barcode that we all know. They are easily scanned, inexpensive to use and have become a staple of every day life. In recent years however, the need for a barcode that can hold more information and be used in a wider range of applications has emerged. This need brought on many different types of barcodes that had more potential than the standard UPC. One type of barcode has emerged as the winner in this race and is now slowly becoming as common as the old one we are used to.

It is called a Data Matrix code and if you haven’t seen it before, then you probably just didn’t notice it. It is a 2D square shaped code that somewhat resembles a checkers board or crossword puzzle. It takes up less space than the UPC code and can hold a lot more data. The barcodes are more easily scanned than a UPC code and can even be read through a cell phone screen. I recently purchased movie tickets online and had the purchase sent to my iPhone via text message. When I arrived at the theatre, the usher simply scanned the Data Matrix code on my phone’s screen and that was it. You can also do this with airline tickets and other products.

Data Matrix barcode

We are currently in a transitional stage with barcodes because the UPC is still relied upon by most companies so now you will find many products that contain both the UPC code and the Data Matrix code on them. In newer vehicles, you can find a Data Matrix code next to the VIN number in the corner of the windshield. This is partially redundant because if you scanned that code you would see the VIN number stored in it.

With cars however, the potential of this product can be easily seen. Due to its large storage capacity, a Data Matrix code on a car can store information like the VIN, number of owners, accident records and other useful information. It will also make it more difficult for used car dealers to lie about the car they are trying to sell because all the data is only a simple scan away.

There are apps for smartphones that can read these codes from a picture you take of them. This gives people more information about the products they consider purchasing than ever before. It can also make purchasing products more quick and easy to do because you can scan something with your cell phone and then buy it on the phone right then and there. It gives more power to the consumer and makes business easier to conduct for the seller.

If you haven’t noticed these Data Matrix codes yet, then don’t worry, you will soon.