What’s the Difference Between 2d Barcodes and QR Codes?

Not all 2d barcodes are QR codes—there’s many different kinds!

A lot of sites seem to use the terms “2d barcodes” and “QR Codes” interchangeably, and while QR codes are a type of 2d barcode, not all 2d barcodes are QR codes. Typically, when referring to a non-QR code 2d barcode, I refer to them as “proprietary barcodes.”

Essentially, QR codes are able to be scanned across multiple barcode scanning applications, but proprietary codes, such as Microsoft Tag, can only be scanned using a specific application.

In our recent post on 2d barcode tattoos, the EZ code was used, which does require a proprietary barcode scanning app. Although they would have preferred a QR code, the EZ code lent itself better to the tattoo medium. Since tattoos fade and even blur over time, the EZ code was the simplest 2d barcode, ensuring it would work over time.
However, there’s still much debate on whether proprietary 2d barcodes will last compared to their standardized QR counterparts. Let us know what you think by commenting below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.