What are the differences between Barcode and QR Code?

Let us understand the concept of barcode and Quick Response (QR) code.

Bar Code

A bar code reader decodes the data contained in the barcode and sends it to the computer. It produces a beam of light or a laser beam to read barcodes which is reflected by the bar code image. A light sensitive detector which is present in the reader identifies the bar code by recognizing special bars on both ends of the image. With the help of these special bar’s reader is able to identify whether the bar code has been read right side up or upside down.

Once a barcode is identified by a bar code reader it decodes it and converts the individual bar patterns into numeric digit code that can be read by computer, After decoding the barcode it enters that data into computer as a text.

Given below is the sample image of bar code −

QR Codes

QR code is called as "Quick Response", it allows us to encode or store over 4500 characters in a two-dimensional bar code. These codes are the "square barcodes" that are initially developed and used in Japan.

The main aim of the QR code is to store the information in such a way that the machine (scanner) can be able to read the data present in the code.

Given below is the sample QR code image −

As we can see above all the QR codes are made of black dots and white spaces forming a square grid. When humans scan this QR code via scanner then they can be able to view the information in a readable format. Nowadays, mobiles allow us to scan these QR codes easily.

Uses of QR codes

QR codes can be used for storing data like −

  • Simple text

  • Phone numbers

  • Online conferences via zoom app

  • Online one time passwords(OTP)

  • Online accounts authentication and many more


The major differences between Barcode and QR code are as follows −

BarcodeQR code
Barcode was created and developed by Norman Joseph Woodland in 1952.QR code was created and developed by Masahiro Hara in 1994.
Bar code and be represented in 2 types − one dimensional or 2 dimensional.QR Code is one type.
Barcode stores numbers in a printed format where the computer can understand.QR code is a two dimensional printed representation of data used to scan and retrieve data.
Barcode in different stores to track all purchased products and also in hospitals for tracking the patient record etc.QR code used at super markets and different stores to track all purchased products and also used in hospitals, cinema halls etc.
A barcode is represented in the form of bars and spaces of varying width which can be read with an optical barcode scanner.QR code is based on Morse code.
The storage capacity of Barcode is more than 100 bytes.QR code storage capacity is 2 kilobytes
It requires less storage when compared to QR code.It requires more storage when compared to Barcode.
Barcode is cost effectiveQR code is cost effective but it is easily to deploy
Barcode is one way communicationAt a time only one QR code can be read.
Barcode usage is more in super packets and stores where the item's information and rate is tracked and maintained.In all stores and public places to scan the tickets, QR code usage is very high.

Updated on: 17-May-2022

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