By Maggie DeWitt
Looking to provide direct mail customers with extra value-added service? Or, are you looking to do more with less through advanced technology? Then you’ll want to know about this month’s mystery product.
In addition to direct mail, the product serves numerous healthcare- and government-related applications. Check out the following clues to guess what the item is:
• It packs the greatest amount of data into the smallest space.
• It enables data to be encoded in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions.
• It takes a well-established tool to a whole new dimension in the quest to capture information.
mystery product revealed
Headquartered in Parsons, Kan., The Flesh Company has expanded its variable imaging capabilities to include 2D barcodes.
Executive Vice President Mark Gerling said the company invested in the necessary equipment and software approximately four months ago, and applications are rapidly growing within the healthcare industry and the postal service. “The 2D barcodes contain more information in a smaller area than conventional, one-dimensional linear barcodes. They have been very well received in direct mail, and are used on intelligent inserters,” he explained.
The technology is also effective for handling tax forms/returns and other government forms, packing lists, drivers’ licenses and patient records.
Data is encoded in the horizontal width of a conventional 1D barcode, so increasing data content can only be achieved by increasing the width. At a certain point, the barcode becomes too wide to scan easily. With a 2D barcode, however, data is encoded in the horizontal and vertical dimensions, and the barcode’s size can be increased in both directions as more data is encoded, thus maintaining a manageable shape for easy scanning.
Although a 1D barcode holds a smaller amount of data, it is spread over the whole height of the barcode and contains a high degree of redundancy, meaning the barcode can be read even if there is considerable degradation. “But, a 1D barcode can be easily vandalized by simply adding an additional vertical line—this is avoided with a 2D barcode,” noted Gerling.