The Future of Barcodes: 3 Alternatives to 1D Barcode Technology

1D BarcodeBarcode printers have changed the retail industry in more ways than one, but what does the future hold for this technology? There are 1D barcodes that hold about 85 characters of information, but for today's inventory demand, less than a hundred characters might not be enough. This is where 2D barcodes, which can hold about 7000 characters, come in. 

This then spells the end for 1D barcode technology. and other label printers list some alternatives you can try:

QR code

The Quick Response code or QR code is a matrix barcode originally designed for the auto industry in Japan. As time passed, it has become popular outside the auto industry because of its fast readability and greater storage capacity. Businesses of all sorts can use it for product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, and general tracking. 

A QR code consists of black dots arranged in a square grid against a white background, which anybody can read through imaging devices like cameras and scanners.


RFID tags can relay information over longer distances (about 100 meters). Businesses saw its huge potential in the warehousing industry and asset tracking areas. With RFID, it is possible to keep track of how much stock you have on something in real time and reduce the risk of miscounted inventory. RFID chips cost more than barcodes, but its usage is growing every year.


Near Field Technology (NFC) is the technology that powers Google Wallet and Apple Pay. It is expected that two out of three smartphones will carry this technology by 2018. The NFC tag is placed in a product and it can interact with a device like a phone and it can ask the device to do something like making a payment.

These three alternatives can help your operations better. Know what they are and understand how they work to improve your business.