QR code and Data Matrix are known as 2D barcodes. Data Matrix was developed by German inventor Klein Rolf Dieter and Rohde Ulrich in year 1989 and patented back in year 1992. QR code was developed in year 1994. Data Matrix was largely used by many organizations and various government departments in North America. QR barcode technology was largely used by the Japanese, they using QR code in all type of industry and unique applications and later QR code has been popular in Europe and North America. These both codes follow Reed-Solomon algorithm for error correction capability.

Let’s understand the basic difference between Data Matrix and QR Code:

QR Code

  • QR Code holds up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters hence this has double capacity than Data Matrix codes.
  • QR codes are capable to store Japanese Kanji letters
  • QR code are believed to less secured
  • Whereas QR codes error correction capability is up to 30%
  • QR Code are not that compact in size hence this cannot be used in very small items
  • The mathematics of QR Code, QR Code add size in steps of 4 modules in each direction for each data inserted until final version 40 and the maximum 177 modules can be added in QR code.

Data Matrix

  • Data Matrix barcode can generate with up to 2,335 alphanumeric characters
  • Data Matrix are not made to store Japanese Kanji letters
  • Data Matrix codes are more secure and hack-able code and it got preference where high security is important
  • Data Matrix codes has better error correction capability around 33%
  • Data Matrix comes with 10% more of its area available for data and hence they are more compact in size and more effective – using less area to contain same amount of data
  • The mathematics of Data Matrix, add size in steps of 2 modules in each direction with some blank characters (we may say gaps). It also create few codes in rectangle size in which the number of modules are difference in each sides of Data Matrix. Data Matrix maximum version is 24 and the largest module size is 144X144

Where to use QR Code and Data Matrix

  • QR Code used in software application as phone scan and send the value to respective web page fields
  • Vehicle tracking in logistics or car manufacturing
  • This is really useful for Assets tracking applications
  • This can be good use for retail billing applications.

Image Credit : makesigns.com 

Image Credit : nngroup.com

  • Largely used in small area printing in heavy industrial usage in manufacturing process.
  • Best choice for direct part marking applications like weapons marking, automotive chassis marking, PCB board marking etc.
  • Aerospace Industry, components of new aircraft marked and identified by Data Matrix codes.
  • Data matrix can also be used in retail and logistic applications.

Image Credit: ostling-markingsystems