The barcode is experiencing a small revolution: the introduction of the matrix code. This new code is smaller, more efficient and more powerful than its predecessor. This has positive consequences for many industries. In this blog post, you will learn more about the matrix code and its advantages.


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The importance of the barcode in busines

The familiar barcode has been an integral part of business for almost 50 years. It is used to encode information about objects that are then read by scanners. It is used in numerous industries, such as logistics, retail, manufacturing and even healthcare. Its uses are many, but sometimes reach their limits. Barcodes can only encode a few, simple data and can be easily damaged. As soon as the straight lines are no longer legible because they are scratched or dirty, the code can no longer be used.


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The matrix code as a further development of the barcode

Products are becoming more and more complex and diverse. It is clear that barcodes must be further developed. Because they can no longer reflect this complexity and diversity. A promising solution is the matrix code. Instead of bars, this code uses squares and represents much more information in a smaller space. This makes it ideal for use on small products and labels. But that is only one of the advantages.

By 2027, the responsible standardisation organisation GS1 is aiming for retailers to be able to read and process the advanced matrix codes in addition to the familiar barcode. This innovation is to be introduced step by step without replacing the old familiar linear barcode.


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Technical implementation and functioning of the matrix code

The technical implementation of the matrix code is based on the use of square modules arranged in a specific pattern. In contrast to the barcode, the matrix code is encoded on 2 dimensions: on the horizontal as well as on the vertical axis. This is why matrix codes are also called 2D codes.

As a result, it offers a higher data density and allows information to be captured more quickly. As already known from QR codes, matrix codes can redirect to internet pages. The way the matrix code works is based on the principle of error correction: even if part of the code is damaged or missing, the system can still read out and correct the information. This makes the matrix code particularly reliable and robust against external influences.


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Areas of application and advantages of the matrix code

Since a matrix code can store significantly more information than a barcode, its areas of application are very diverse. Matrix codes contain not only text or numerical information, but also images and other complex data. The retail sector is particularly evident as an area of application. For example, by scanning the matrix code, consumers will in future be able to obtain additional information about products, such as:

  • place and type of manufacture
  • Sustainability information
  • Recipes and instructions
  • Allergens
  • Disposal information
  • Promotional offers, coupons, discounts

But matrix codes are also useful in other sectors:

  • In the medical sector (e.g. laboratory, hospitals, working with patients).
  • Customer documents and administration
  • Warehouse and logistics
  • Manufacturing industries (e.g. automotive, merchandise management)
  • etc.

Matrix codes ...

  • are read faster and more accurately than barcodes.
  • are more robust and can even be read when damaged or dirty.
  • are compatible in use with AIs and robotics.
  • have a very high data density.
  • improve product safety by storing origin, expiry date and ingredients.
  • enable customer experiences to be created through online access.


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Conclusion: The matrix code as an important step towards increasing efficiency

Due to its diverse application possibilities, the matrix code has established itself as a small revolution in the world of barcodes and is being used more and more frequently. Due to its higher data density and the possibility of storing both horizontal and vertical information, it offers numerous advantages over the conventional barcode. Especially in the logistics industry and in retail, the matrix code can help to optimise processes and achieve efficiency gains. In the future, the matrix code will also be increasingly used in other sectors such as medicine or mechanical engineering. Overall, the matrix code is an important step towards digitalisation and increased efficiency.

Matrix codes at Infinica and Doxee

At Infinica and Doxee we already offer the possibility to process documents with matrix codes. Thanks to the use of the Aspose Library in our products, we already meet the requirements of the future. All technical details can be found in the Aspose documentation.



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