GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional
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The GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional is a small, high density barcode that's smaller than the UPC-A and EAN-13, the standard retail barcodes of the United States and Europe, respectively. However, the GS1 is designed to hold 14 digits, as opposed to UPC-A's 12 and EAN-13's 13. Those 14 digits allow the GS1 DataBar to hold a maximum length Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which provides a universal identification for products across different databases and organizations. As its name implies, the GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional can be scanned accurately in any direction.
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Specifications: The GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional barcode begins with a left guard character, to indicate the beginning of the code. The data itself is broken up into four sections, interspersed with left and right "finder patterns," followed by a right guard to indicate the end of the barcode. The barcodes can also be stacked on top of one another to encode more consecutive data.
Advantages: The GS1 DataBar condenses a larger amount of information into a smaller space, and can be stacked to communicate even more information. It can also be scanned omnidirectionally. Additionally, it requires a check digit to ensure accuracy. And it's alphanumeric, accommodating both letters and numbers.
Disadvantages: It can't accommodate special characters or symbols. And though it can be stacked, a single barcode only holds up to 14 characters, so encoding a larger amount can end up getting bulky despite the condensed nature of the code.
GS1 DataBar Expanded - An upgraded version of the GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional, this one can encode extra information.