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:
Things you need
- Data matrix decoding software
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paste the data matrix code's URL into an online decoding service such as ZXing Decoder Online or Snap My Info.
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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