How many times have you used the terms “QR codes” and “barcodes” interchangeably? Are you under the impression that they are the same thing? Both are codes that are meant to be scanned as they contain important information, but that doesn’t mean they are the same thing. Some basic features set apart QR codes from barcodes, which is also what helps businesses to choose the best option for their needs. Here’s a look at those main differences.
What is a QR Code – the Basics
A QR code is short for a Quick Response code. It is a code that contains all kinds of information. This code can be read by a special machine or device. A unique feature of a QR code is the fact it contains a lot of information, and that information is stored in a two-dimensional manner. A QR code stores information horizontally and vertically. The benefit of this option is that a company can create its QR code to assign to products, and include a lot of information in that code.
Another unique aspect of the QR code is that smartphones can read them by scanning the code with the device’s camera. This has opened up the door to its uses, allowing shoppers to scan the QR code in-store to get more information, or even on a screen or piece of paper. More businesses are opting for this route thanks to its high-tech capabilities.
You’ll notice that a QR code is usually square and has many different shapes and lines in it. There are no letters or numbers; it just looks like a strange design.
What Is A Barcode – The Basics
A barcode is a small code that can be found on products and price tags. It contains information that a machine can scan and read. Barcode scanners software is also required. The information typically includes the product name, manufacturer, size, color, and price. All of this information is important when ringing up a product at the cash register, and it is also used for inventory purposes.
Unlike the QR code, a barcode is typically a rectangle and it will contain several vertical lines with numbers, letters, or a combination of both under those lines. As mentioned, this one isn’t able to contain as much information as the QR code, and shoppers can’t scan it with their phones. This is strictly for the use of the business/store.
Which One is Best?
This brings us to the question of which one is best. It comes down to how the business is using these codes. For any business that needs to store a lot of information, a QR code makes sense. There is also the advantage that customers can scan the code to learn more about the product. That’s not to say that barcodes don’t have uses, but it is dependent on the business and the products being sold.
Plenty of Differences
So, the next time you see a QR code or a barcode, you’ll be able to easily differentiate them both in how they look and perform.
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