2-D Codes in Retail

The UPC you find on packaging is a one-dimensional barcode that's been in use, in one form or another, since the 1970s. While its a good symbology to encode numbers like a product identifier, its not really big enough to hold much more. It also requires a barcode scanner (like those connected to the POS), although iPhone apps like RedLaser have proved a mobile camera can be made to work in many situations.

The next generation barcodes are two-dimensional and therefore capable of holding much more information as well as being more conducive to cameras. The most popular format is the QR Code, widely used in Japan because almost every mobile phone has a built-in reader.

A typical use for QR Codes is to embed a URL so that that a mobile phone can quickly navigate to the specified web page. QR Codes can be found on posters, billboards, catalogs, and circulars. Speaking of which, Best Buy recently put a QR code in their circular as shown below.

BBY QR Code.JPG

If fact, they even updated their iPhone application to include a QR Code reader. I was able to scan the barcode above right from the screen with my iPhone without issues, even though its fairly small in this image. Clearly they are planning to incorporate more QR Codes in their stores and advertising.

If you haven't seen QR Codes before, you're not looking hard enough. They are around and will continue to spread.

Comments:

Hi

I know it can store in a lot more information like dates of expiry etc.What do you think would be the future of the 2D barcode in the world of retailing? Do you see it replacing the 1D barcode?

Posted by Sirish on July 06, 2010 at 03:29 PM CDT #

Sirish, GS1 has its own 2-d barcode for products that have an expiration date or might need to be tracked for recalls like meat, fruits, and prescriptions. But its taking longer for retailers to upgrade their existing readers. Eventually, it will happen.

Posted by David on July 07, 2010 at 12:56 AM CDT #

QR Code/Tag vs. Keyword Identifier

A new addressing technology called the Keyword Identifier(developed by Oyokey Inc.) performs better than any 2D code. It gives customers, users a better experience and retains, enhances a company brand without introducing any other brand and the same Keyword Identifier can work via typing, scanning or speaking. The Keyword Identifier has all the important features of these 2D codes and much much more. Check out Keyword Identifier at Blogspot.

Posted by Samee Sam on July 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM CDT #

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David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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