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Advantages of Barcode | disadvantages of Barcode

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Barcode. It mentions Barcode advantages or benefits and Barcode disadvantages or drawbacks. It also describes Barcode basics.

What is Barcode?

Barcode is predefined format of dark bars and white bars. The bars are structured to contain specific piece of information. Barcode scanner consists of three parts viz. illuminator, converter and decoder. The barcode scanner works based on electro-optical principle.

Barcode scanning process

There are two ways to create barcodes viz. discrete symbology and continuous symbology. In discrete symbology, each character is mapped using stack of dark and white bars and gaps are provided between each characters. In continuous symbology, gaps are provided after few characters are represented together using dark/white bars continuously.

There are two types of barcodes viz. linear Barcodes and 2D Barcodes. The linear barcodes include code-128, UPC, code-39 etc. The 2D barcodes include PDF417, data matrix, maxicode etc. There are international standards to have uniformity in different barcodes.

Example: The Code-39 format based barcodes define 9 bars in order to represent each symbol. It defines about 43 characters.

The figure-1 depicts barcode scanning process. As shown in this process light is emitted towards barcode and reflected light is received by the scanning device in order to decode the information. Refer Barcode basics >>.

Benefits or advantages of Barcode

Following are the benefits or advantages of Barcode:
➨It allows realtime data to be collected accurately and rapidly with the help of barcode readers.
➨It enables fast data entry operations with less errors.
➨It is mature and proven technology.
➨It is less expensive.
➨It is smaller and lighter compare to RFID tags and easy to use.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Barcode

Following are the disadvantages of Barcode:
➨Barcode scanning requires special device called Barcode scanner which emits light and collects reflected light to decode the Barcode.
➨Barcode scanner or reader works with computers or POS terminals.
➨Barcodes do not have read/write capabilities.
➨It requires optical line of sight (LOS) scanning.
➨It is labour intensive as it requires to be scanned individually.
➨It is less secure compare to RFID which can be easily forged.
➨It is susceptible to environmental damage.
➨scratched or crumpled barcodes may cause problems while scanning.

Advantages and Disadvantages of other wireless technologies

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