How to decode data matrix bar codes

Written by spanner spencer
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How to decode data matrix bar codes
2D bar codes are used in Japan to provide consumers with information. (bar code iii image by Hao Wang from Fotolia.com)

One-dimensional striped bar codes are used on all commercial products but are gradually being replaced by two-dimensional data matrix codes. This new form of bar code is able to encode much more information, and requires a lower contrast ratio for devices to read it. The ability to decode 2D bar codes provides immediate, universally-transferable digital information about anything from contact details to e-mail messages and web addresses.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Smartphone
  • Data matrix decoding software

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use your smartphone's camera to take a picture of the data matrix code. Fill as much of the photo as possible with the code, while keeping it in focus.

  2. 2

    Install a data matrix decoding application on your smartphone and load the image of the bar code. Some applications can access the smartphone's camera, allowing you to capture a picture of the bar code directly into the application.

  3. 3

    Follow the application's instructions to decode the information stored in the data matrix. This will often be performed automatically as soon as the code has been recognised.

  1. 1

    Find the URL of a data matrix image found on a web page. Right click the image and select the option to copy its URL from the web browser's context menu.

  2. 2

    Paste the data matrix code's URL into an online decoding service such as ZXing Decoder Online or Snap My Info.

  3. 3

    Follow the service's instructions to decode the information stored in the data matrix. This will often be performed automatically as soon as the code has been recognised.

Tips and warnings

  • Data matrix codes are also known as QR Codes or two-dimensional (2D) bar codes.
  • Free online services allow you to enter information and automatically encode custom data matrix codes.

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