Barcode is a visual representation of data, typically in the form of a series of black and white vertical bars of varying widths, which can be read by optical scanners called Barcode readers. Barcodes are essential components of today’s technology-based retail and industrial operations, enabling automation and increased efficiency of collecting and tracking data.
Barcodes originated in the railroad industry as a way to quickly identify trains in transit. In 1948, Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland were awarded the first patent for a bar code involving bulls-eye shaped dots in combination with the Morse-code spaces and dots. By 1974, the modern UPC barcode had been standardized, greatly speeding up retail checkout lines.
Today, barcodes are automated data capture solutions used to identify goods, manage inventory, track shipments and shipments, and increase efficiency and accuracy when processing payments. They are normally applied to item level packaging, such as a box, by laser or thermal printers.
There are 3 standardized types of barcodes: UPC-A, UPC-E, and EAN-13. UPC-A is the most common type of barcode, usually seen in supermarkets and other retail stores. UPC-E is a shortened version of UPC-A, where some of the “unnecessary” numbers are removed from the code. EAN-13 is the most commonly used barcode in Europe.
Barcode scanning technology has revolutionized the retail and industrial sectors. The accuracy and speed of barcodes allows businesses to streamline their operations and improve customer service. Furthermore, barcodes are now being used in healthcare, transportation, entertainment, and other industries.As the technology continues to improve, barcodes are becoming ubiquitous in the digital world.