A barcode is a data carrier which consists of an optical pattern that represents data and can be read using a machine.
A reading device (scanner or camera) analyses the reflection from the black bars and white spaces in the line pattern and interprets the content of the code. Most barcodes consist of parallel bars and spaces of different widths.
There is a distinction between one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) barcodes. If the lines are always arranged in a single row, it is a one-dimensional barcode. By contrast, 2D barcodes are generally square symbols which are primarily made up of dots and small squares. To read 1D barcodes, a simple barcode reader is needed, such as a laser scanner. In general, a 2D imager scanner can also read a 1D barcode, but not the other way around. To read 2D barcodes, a recording device which can process images is required.
The sustained success of the barcode is based on three key features: simplicity, reliability and an excellent cost-value ratio. The high level of security when recording data with barcodes makes the system one of the most reliable around. Because it is quicker and more secure than any input by hand, countless applications in logistics, medicine and production rely on barcode technology. GS1 provides a range of barcodes which have different characteristics and areas of application.
The GS1 System uses the following Symbols: