The terms

At it's most basic all the these terms mean the same thing:

  • Mobile Code
  • 2D Barcode
  • QR Code
  • DataMatrix
  • Semacode

Some are trademarks, others are different types or terms for the general concept.

So what do they mean?

They all describe 2D barcodes. A 2D barcode is just as you might think, it's a similar technology to the barcodes you find on your groceries (1D barcodes), but rather than data only being encoded in one direction, a 2D barcode uses a different shape of 'picture' to allow more information to be encoded.


DataMatrix DataMatrix barcodes have solid left and bottom borders and dotted top and right borders.

QR Code

QR Code The major characteristics of QR Codes are the three large squares used to orientate the image when scanned. QR Codes are capable of holding more information than DataMatrix codes.

So what do they do?

A mobile code will either give you some information - for example a business card (vCard) to store in your phone - or it will lead you somewhere by way of a URL.

Some mobile-oriented sites use mobile codes to allow fast access to application downloads or other mobile-specific pages which would take a long time to type into your phone manually.

You can also take advantage of tools such as the Mobile Barcoder Firefox Add-on which will create a mobile code out of any page your on or link very conveniently.

The site

more & feature matrix