1D and 2D Scanner Differences
There are two main types of barcodes that can be scanned: one dimensional (1D) and two dimensional (2D).
1D, or linear, barcodes were the first type of barcode and are still common today. Made up of simple black lines, 1D barcodes hold a limited amount of information — up to 25 characters, depending on the specification. The most popular codes for 1D barcodes are Code 128 and Code 39.
1D laser scanners are economical to purchase; however, their scanning ability is somewhat limited. The laser technology captures information by reflecting light. The process is quick, as long as the barcodes are not damaged.
1D linear imagers use CCD technology, similar to a digital camera, to capture an image of a barcode. An array of hundreds of light sensors capture and convert the image into data. Because of this, 1D imagers are better suited to reading damaged barcodes than 1D scanners.
2D scanners, also called 2D area imagers, capture a more detailed and intelligent image than their 1D counterparts. They can read any type of barcode, including 1D, stacked, 2D, QR codes and more. They can capture a barcode in any orientation or from off a monitor or phone screen, reducing scanning labor. The overall improved performance of 2D area imagers makes them an intelligent choice for long-term scanning.