A barcode is one of the earliest methods for data entry into computers. Thanks to their simplicity for both creation and recognition, they are still used heavily today. SparkFun's new 2D Barcode Scanner Breakout module makes supporting a wide range of barcodes as simple as communication over a serial interface.
SparkFun based their 2D barcode scanner on a DE2120 module from a company called DYScan. This module is a CMOS camera with built-in image processing that recognizes 20 different 1D and 2D barcode formats.
UPCs found on consumer goods are the most obvious example of a 1D barcode. These are linear codes running in a single direction. In comparison, a recognizable 2D barcode is a QR code. Its pattern runs in both horizontal and vertical directions.
The complex tasks of processing the barcodes happen on the module. Interfacing it to a project happens over TTL-serial via header breakouts or using USB communications with a USB-C connection. Several methods program the module.
One method involves configuring over the serial connection. A more clever way uses unique barcodes to configure the module. Last, there is an Arduino library that also does the configuration. Though, it appears the Arduino library only simplifies the serial communication.
Additionally, the module includes two LEDs. One helpfully illuminates the scanning area. The other is a red LED to help the user align the camera. Other user interface hardware bits are a buzzer and a tactile pushbutton.
Check out the video above where SparkFun's Avra Saslow goes through the features in detail and shows a demonstration. The demo alone is worth the watch time.
Head over to SparkFun's store to pick up the 2D Barcode Scanner Breakout module. It is available now for $49.95 USD.