2D Barcoding: Ease and Efficiency for Hospitals, Retail and Warehouses
When recognition technology such as UPC barcodes first entered the mainstream, they were unidimensional and only had a 20-character capacity. This served the purposes of the day, allowing for better inventory control and pricing. But as time went on, people started using barcoding for more uses and in different ways, so the one-dimensional barcode didnâ€™t fill the fill any longer.Â
Soon thereafter, the 2D or two-dimensional barcode was born, a graphical image that can store data both vertically and horizontally, to the tune of 7,089 characters, which was a significant improvement. Two-dimensional barcodes also answer to the name of QR or quick response codes, because they offer fast access to data.
But what really propelled them into constant usage is the fact that smartphones like Android and iPhones can easily read 2D barcodes using an application. The popularity of smartphones has made 2D barcodes the best way to share important information with consumers, because companies can place the codes on products and advertisements that consumers can easily scan.
QR or 2D barcodes can be used in a variety of interesting and exciting ways to enhance lives and deliver information, such as:
- Retailers use 2D barcodes on their products to link to product reviews and coupons.
- People add 2D barcodes to their blogs, posts or Facebook pages.
- The sports brand, Nike, put 2D barcodes on the posters hanging along the route used for an extreme sports competition. Mobile users were able to access sponsor pictures, data and video with their smartphones.
- Newspapers use 2D barcodes in their articles to link readers to developing news coverage.
- Hospitals use 2D barcodes on patient identification bracelets and records.
- Airlines use 2D barcodes on boarding passes and luggage labels.
A QR or 2D barcode scanner can save time and money while providing fast and accurate data. These scanners interpret the data in a barcode image and can automate information collection to improve inventory tracking, as well as asset management.
Scanning a 2D barcode involves three main scan engines, the laser, the 2D area imager, and the linear imager. These methodologies are found in barcode scanners and mobile computers that come with features specifically for certain industries and work environments. Although high-tech, 2D barcode scanners are easy to maintain, and barcode repair is affordable with them, too.
Using a 2D barcode scanning application allows you to:
- Import data from external sources free of data duplication, such as MS SQL or Office, and many other files and databases.
- Respond in a timely fashion to inventory and advertising needs by providing a customized design tool for labels, including text, barcodes and images.
- Make custom labels for inventory, shipping or any other functionality in a snap.
- Support a wide range of needs and applications, including POS, travel, health care, entertainment and hospitality, as well as shipping and receiving.
- Improve asset management and compliance.
- Ensure data integrity with the absence of data entry mistakes.
- Enable remote data processing and entry by reading the barcodes that apps on tablets and smartphones generate.
As time goes on, the uses for 2D barcodes will grow, because they offer speed, convenience and accuracy. If you havenâ€™t implemented one yet, you should seriously consider adding a 2D barcode system to your business, because they offer so many state-of-the-art data management and marketing capabilities.
Adam Purnell is a warehouse supervisor. He loves writing about his experiences online. Look for his posts on a number of business blogs.