Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Announce Mobile's CEO Discusses 2D Codes

As I stated in the first 2D code post today, there are several different types of 2D codes that are currently available for use. I started thinking some more, and felt it may be a good idea to give everyone a brief idea of what the 3 main ones (Aztec, Data Matrix, and QR Codes) are and how they are different to some extent.

Data Matrix Codes are widely used across the world for various applications. You can see from the example Data Matrix code on the left the 2 dark and 2 alternating lines around the edge. These are called the finder pattern and are used to tell the reader where the information in the barcode is located. Additionally, the space around the code represents the amount of white space that must surround the code in order to be properly read. Data Matrix codes also have a built in error correction mechanism.

QR or Quick Response codes provide high-speed, omnidirectional reading with built in error correction. Like the Data Matrix codes, their finder patter is on the outer edges, making reading difficult from an electronic display. Also, like the Data Matrix code, the QR code requires a white space surrounding it in order to be properly read and deciphered.

Lastly, there are Aztec codes which are currently supported by the qode®reader application. Aztec codes are built around a square grid with a bulls-eye pattern in the center as you can see from the picture on the left. Reading an Aztec code is orientation-independent, meaning there is no left/right or top/bottom. The other advantage to Aztec codes is that they do not require white space surrounding the code. This makes reading of the codes and placing them in applications or in print very efficient. When an Aztec code is read, it is read in layers from the inside out. Important or critical data can be stored near the center to reduce the loss of data and errors. Aztec codes also incorporate a much more sophisticated form of error correction making them an excellent choice for print materials. The codes are more resistant to errors experienced by wrinkled paper, or even stained paper.

Source: Announce Mobile Blog

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