What is a barcode
A barcode serves as an electronically readable labelling system employed for product identification. Comprising a sequence of thick and thin stripes facilitates swift and accurate readings through laser scanners, each stripe pattern corresponding to specific digits.
Accompanying the stripes is a set of numbers beneath the barcode, enabling manual entry into a cash register or inventory system for product identification. These numerical values align with the digits represented by the barcode’s stripes.
What are barcodes used for?
Primarily utilised in retail and warehouse settings, barcodes streamline transactions. When scanned at a store’s cash register, they retrieve product prices, update sales statistics, and signal inventory reduction in the warehouse.
Beyond retail, barcodes find extensive use on tickets, enhancing event management. For instance, scanning a concert ticket barcode at the venue entrance confirms ticket usage, facilitates attendance tracking, and ensures ticket uniqueness.
Barcodes prove invaluable in scenarios demanding swift unit data registration, such as airport baggage handling and mail processing.
Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) or European Article Number (EAN) is a prevalent international barcode standard.
In Australia, the barcode standards include EAN/UPC, GS1-128, GS1 DataBar, ITF-14, GS1 DataMatrix, GS1 QR Code, and GS1 Digital Link. The EAN-13 barcode is commonly used for products sold at retail POS, while logistic applications typically use GS1-128 within an SSCC label. Retailers like Coles and Woolworths require suppliers to meet GS1 Standards as a minimum, but often expect suppliers to provide solutions beyond these standards in order to meet specific requirements.
The difference between barcode and QR code
Distinguishing barcodes from QR codes, both serve the purpose of storing easily retrievable information. While barcodes are limited to letters and numbers, QR codes offer greater versatility by incorporating images, sounds, videos, and more. The distinctive patterns of QR codes permit information storage in both vertical and horizontal dimensions.
QR codes, easily scanned by smartphone cameras, find applications in diverse fields such as sharing restaurant menus, contact information, maps, competitions, discount coupons, movie trailers, and more.