Barcode system is being used in a wide range of industries. There has been an advance in the use of barcode technology. Earlier only linear barcodes were used. Gradually there has been rise of 2D barcode technology. Symbol scanners, HP scanners and many other models are available that can read linear and 2D barcodes. Recent advancement in barcode technology includes the development of 3D barcodes. With increase in advancement of technology, there is also arises need to design barcode readers that read 3D barcode symbology.
3D barcodes do not use any barcode labels. The barcodes are embossed or engraved directly on the product during manufacturing process. As a result, quality and encoding issues of barcode labels can be avoided. Linear and 2D barcodes might have some errors in the quality of print, in terms of width which may vary the scanning process. Scanning of 3D barcodes is done by determination of height of each line. This is more advantageous when compared with the other two modes. An advantage is that as height variances are checked by scanners, no differences in end result can be seen by any addition of color or paint. Where as in linear or 2D barcodes, if some color or paint gets attached to the barcode labels, then there would be error in end result as it would contribute to the thickness of the code.
Barcode scanner, like Symbol barcode scanner, which is used to read linear or 2D barcodes cannot be used to read 3D barcodes. Special bumpy barcode readers are used which require digital processing units in order to interpret the image.
3D barcodes are embossed on the material and so there is no requirement of a barcode printer. Any material which has ability to bend and come back into the original shape can be used for 3D barcodes. As they include elevated surface, 3D barcodes are able to store large information which may include a product manual or the product specifications.