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AIM-News: Extension of the DataMatrix-Code

AIM, the “Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility” is the most important holding organization concerning the development within the Barcode and RFID area. The AIM is split into many different working groups which meet up frequently. They are specialized in different areas of the Auto-ID industry, in order to work most effective and successfully. PANMOBIL is one of the founding members of AIM-Germany as well as a member of the “ORM (Optical Reading Media) and data structure”. The current conference at PANMOBIL got another idea going to make the DataMatrix-Code even more universal…

The current meeting of the ORM working group took place at the PANMOBIL office in Cologne. Twelve of the leading representatives concerning the AutoID industry were present.


The QR-Code goes astray

The working group underlined, that the importance of the “Optical media” area is on a larger demand again. Reason: Customers now a days are used to read QR-Codes with their Smartphone, which provides them with additional information out of the internet in our networked world. Whereas through the usage of it they actually realized the advantages of the 2D barcode and the possibilities of its application. In the consumer section the designing of the QR-Code is going another way though. The barcodes get designed with appealing logos. This space, about 25% of the QR-Code which is used to fix mistakes in case a barcode is damaged (Reed-Solomon), is not available anymore to increase the reliability.

Most important solution of the AIM-conference: The extension of the Datamatrix-Code!

The goal is to capture the maximum amount of data with one reading.The fact that the DataMatrix-Code is square shaped it leads to a limitation of information which can be saved due to the height of space which is available on the article. For example: A test tube in the pharmaceutical industry. There can only be so many information on the Datamtrix-Code, as the height of the test tube and its diameter allows. One possibility would be to put a 1D-barcode on the test tubes lengthwise, but there is only that much data information you could put on. If the DataMatrix-Code would be retangular like being able to extend it to the lenght of the tube you would reach a high amount of data information in just one reading.There needs to be changes within the barcode nomination concerning mathematical and technical changes for the encoding and the decoding in order to achieve the desired goal. The working group tries to find a solution to make this worldwide nomination happening.

Also the logistic- and transport area shows a growing interest about the square DataMatrix-Codes. An example is the recording of the transportation route above several stops and stations. The PDF417-Code is used at the moment among others. Disadvantage: less information density even though it’s the same usable space. To use the most of the available space, it is important to apply the Datamatrix-Code as a rectangle and not as a square.

First steps to the extended world standard

The ORM working group talked about first steps to turn the barcode into a rectangular shape. The pursued goal is to turn the “new” Datamatrix-Code into an inherent industry norm. First step is to adapt the Check-Algorithm “Reed-Solomon” which is responsible for the correct capturing of the reading. There will be results for other future Datamatrix-Code as soon as the adaptation took place. Necessary, next to the calculated expansion, is also the complementation and adaptation of the design and function in order for the scanner and the printer to work accurate.

PANMOBIL is developer of mobile barcode-reading systems and offers a fast availability for their customers in terms of exploiting the biggest potential.

Our newsletter will keep you updated as soon as there are any news concerning the Datamatrix-Code expansion!

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