The GS1 Digital Link standard strengthens the power and flexibility of the GS1 identification keys, like the GTIN, by linking them to the digital world. Using a "resolver", the identification key is converted to a web address and linked to various web pages (on product information, traceability, etc.). This inseparably connects the physical product to its digital twin on the web, opening new doors for B2B and B2C information exchange. By bridging the digital and physical worlds, consumers or patients for instance can gain more and faster access to up-to-date information that contributes to more transparency, safety and sustainability in the chain.
How does a GS1 Digital Link differ from a typical URL? A regular URL also refers to one specific website, while a GS1 Digital Link can establish connections with all kinds of dynamic information on the web. For example, encoded in a 2D barcode, not only the (GS1 Digital Link) URL can be scanned as the consumer is used to doing, but the link can also be made with the GS1 identification key which is integrated into the URL. This means it can also be used in the supply chain. This makes it possible to have only 1 barcode on the product that refers to different information, which is necessary for different purposes such as Point-of-Sale Scanning or targeted recalls. Having 1 barcode on the label (instead of several) saves space on the label, increases efficiency and reduces costs – after all, this is the mission of the ‘Future of Barcodes’ project.