The technology of using barcodes has been advanced. The most recent advanced technology of barcodes in 2010 is 3D barcode system. There are many devices like Zebra printers, Symbol scanners, HP Laser scanners and so on that have been using one dimensional and two dimensional technology. However, with the introduction of 3D technology, new devices are to be designed.
The inventory and the tracking system are thought to be improved by manufacturers which lead to the rise of 3D barcodes. 3D barcodes utilize the same principle as that of 2D and linear barcodes. Engraving or application of the 3D barcode on the product is done as a part of manufacturing process. The bars are read by the variances in reflected light with linear barcodes. But reading of 3D barcodes is through the determination of height of each line. The time taken for laser to bounce back is recorded. This helps in determining the height as a function of time and distance. Then the character represented on the code can be interpreted.
Unlike the 2D barcode readers, special devices such as Bumpy Bar Code reader has to be used for reading the code. The raised height of each line is measured by the scanner. When a data is recorded, the data has to be digitized. A digital processing unit is used for interpretation of image. Since only height variances are read by the reader, any additions of color or paint may not affect the end result.
As the 3D barcodes are embossed on the product, there is no need of a barcode printer. A plastic or other material, that has ability to bend and shape back into place when it is put under extreme environment conditions, is used in making 3D barcodes. Because of the elevated surface of the barcode, large amounts of information can be stored in the code that may include a picture, product manual or its specifications.
The 3D barcodes may be more prevalent in manufacturing in the near future.