A barcode is a rectangular image of black lines of different thicknesses that contains information about a product.
A barcode reader is an electronic device that by means of a laser manages to ‘ read’ the information encoded in a barcode.
The barcode was invented in the United States by George Laurer for IBM in the year 1973 known at that time as UPC ( Universal product code ) after the invention of:
- Circular images containing information codes patented in 1952 by Joseph Woodland.
- The first laser beam in 1960 by Theodore Maiman.
In 1999, Masahiro Hara creates the QR code, in English QR code , a code that supports Chinese characters (kanji), Japanese characters (kana) and alphanumeric characters whose information can be read more quickly and with more data than a Barcode.
The difference between the QR code, whose acronym means ‘quick response’ or ‘quick response’, and the barcode is its coding in 2 dimensions instead of one. This means that the information can be scanned both vertically (up and down) and horizontally being the fastest reading and including more information.
Another difference between barcodes and QR codes is the nature of the good or service from which the information is to be obtained. The barcode has historically been used for the identification of tangible and massive products such as those of a supermarket with information of interest to the company or organization.
QR codes, on the other hand, identify intangible products and services with information of interest to the public such as redirection to websites, emails, contacts, etc., all this thanks to the massification of cell phones with cameras that serve as reader of QR codes