Posted by: admin in: identification
Barcode labels are very cheap and highly effective at carrying data and information – initially they were developed for use in grocery stores and the pricing of goods and inventory control; a use for which they have become almost universally adopted. Today barcodes are still finding new applications and in Japan, cell phones are now equipped with a barcode reader while the new generation of smart phones is finding the use of barcodes indispensable in the fast reading of information and communication to the user.
A barcode is an optical machine readable representation of information that originally used simple parallel lines with the width of the lines and spacing in between determining the information being carried. A rapid development was the introduction of other geometric shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles and other polygonals) to represent data and these are also known as barcodes.
A barcode costs a fraction of a cent (approximately $0.005) to produce and implement which competes very well with more recent systems such as RFID tags which are capable of greater functionality (such as real time tracking of inventory) however, they do cost substantially more (around $0.07 to $0.30 per tag).
Today barcodes are used to carry much more detailed information for users and the information is also now capable of being read by the product’s end user as an aid to the selection and usage of the purchase. Barcode readers are equally simple and cheap to operate and many retail outlets are providing customers with handheld readers for self-scanning of their purchases and also to provide the customer with greater information that is tailored to the marketing aims of the retailers rather than the manufacturer.
The universal applicability and cost effectiveness will ensure that the barcode will remain with us for many years to come and no doubt its life expectancy will continue to be extended as the simplicity lends itself to greater application in the technology led world.