TheInfoList

History

Collins at Sylvania

Computer Identics Corporation

In 1967, with the railway system maturing, Collins went to management looking for funding for a project to develop a black-and-white version of the code for other industries. They declined, saying that the railway project was large enough, and they saw no need to branch out so quickly. Collins then quit Sylvania and formed the Computer Identics Corporation. As its first innovations, Computer Identics moved from using incandescent light bulbs in its systems, replacing them with helium–neon lasers, and incorporated a mirror as well, making it capable of locating a barcode up to several feet in front of the scanner. This made the entire process much simpler and more reliable, and typically enabled these devices to deal with damaged labels, as well, by recognizing and reading the intact portions. Computer Identics Corporation installed one of its first two scanning systems in the spring of 1969 at a General Motors (Buick) factory in Flint, Michigan. The system was used to identify a dozen types of transmissions moving on an overhead conveyor from production to shipping. The other scanning system was installed at General Trading Company's distribution center in Carlstadt, New Jersey to direct shipments to the proper loading bay.

Universal Product Code

In 1981, the United States Department of Defense adopted the use of Code 39 for marking all products sold to the United States military. This system, Logistics Applications of Automated Marking and Reading Symbols (LOGMARS), is still used by DoD and is widely viewed as the catalyst for widespread adoption of barcoding in industrial uses.

Use

Symbologies

The mapping between messages and barcodes is called a ''symbology''. The specification of a symbology includes the encoding of the message into bars and spaces, any required start and stop markers, the size of the quiet zone required to be before and after the barcode, and the computation of a checksum. Linear symbologies can be classified mainly by two properties: ; Continuous vs. discrete * Characters in discrete symbologies are composed of ''n'' bars and ''n'' − 1 spaces. There is an additional space between characters, but it does not convey information, and may have any width as long as it is not confused with the end of the code. * Characters in continuous symbologies are composed of ''n'' bars and ''n'' spaces, and usually abut, with one character ending with a space and the next beginning with a bar, or vice versa. A special end pattern that has bars on both ends is required to end the code. ;Two-width vs. many-width * A two-width, also called a binary bar code, contains bars and spaces of two widths, "wide" and "narrow". The precise width of the wide bars and spaces is not critical; typically it is permitted to be anywhere between 2 and 3 times the width of the narrow equivalents. * Some other symbologies use bars of two different heights (POSTNET), or the presence or absence of bars (CPC Binary Barcode). These are normally also considered binary bar codes. * Bars and spaces in many-width symbologies are all multiples of a basic width called the ''module''; most such codes use four widths of 1, 2, 3 and 4 modules. Some symbologies use interleaving. The first character is encoded using black bars of varying width. The second character is then encoded by varying the width of the white spaces between these bars. Thus characters are encoded in pairs over the same section of the barcode. Interleaved 2 of 5 is an example of this. Stacked symbologies repeat a given linear symbology vertically. The most common among the many 2D symbologies are matrix codes, which feature square or dot-shaped modules arranged on a grid pattern. 2D symbologies also come in circular and other patterns and may employ steganography, hiding modules within an image (for example, DataGlyphs). Linear symbologies are optimized for laser scanners, which sweep a light beam across the barcode in a straight line, reading a ''slice'' of the barcode light-dark patterns. Scanning at an angle makes the modules appear wider, but does not change the width ratios. Stacked symbologies are also optimized for laser scanning, with the laser making multiple passes across the barcode. In the 1990s development of charge-coupled device (CCD) imagers to read barcodes was pioneered by Welch Allyn. Imaging does not require moving parts, as a laser scanner does. In 2007, linear imaging had begun to supplant laser scanning as the preferred scan engine for its performance and durability. 2D symbologies cannot be read by a laser, as there is typically no sweep pattern that can encompass the entire symbol. They must be scanned by an image-based scanner employing a CCD or other digital camera sensor technology.

The earliest, and still the cheapest, barcode scanners are built from a fixed light and a single photosensor that is manually moved across the barcode. Barcode scanners can be classified into three categories based on their connection to the computer. The older type is the RS-232 barcode scanner. This type requires special programming for transferring the input data to the application program. Keyboard interface scanners connect to a computer using a PS/2 or AT keyboard–compatible adaptor cable (a "keyboard wedge"). The barcode's data is sent to the computer as if it had been typed on the keyboard. Like the keyboard interface scanner, USB scanners do not need custom code for transferring input data to the application program. On PCs running Windows the human interface device emulates the data merging action of a hardware "keyboard wedge", and the scanner automatically behaves like an additional keyboard. Most modern smartphones are able to decode barcode using their built-in camera. Google's mobile Android operating system can use their own Google Lens application to scan QR codes, or third party apps like Barcode Scanner to read both one-dimensional barcodes and QR codes. Nokia's Symbian operating system featured a barcode scanner, while mbarcode is a QR code reader for the Maemo operating system. In Apple iOS 11, the native camera app can decode QR codes and can link to URLs, join wireless networks, or perform other operations depending on the QR Code contents. Other paid and free apps are available with scanning capabilities for other symbologies or for earlier iOS versions. With BlackBerry devices, the App World application can natively scan barcodes and load any recognized Web URLs on the device's Web browser. Windows Phone 7.5 is able to scan barcodes through the Bing search app. However, these devices are not designed specifically for the capturing of barcodes. As a result, they do not decode nearly as quickly or accurately as a dedicated barcode scanner or portable data terminal.

Quality control and verification

Barcode verifier standards

Barcode verifier standards are defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in ISO/IEC 15426-1 (linear) or ISO/IEC 15426-2 (2D). The current international barcode quality specification is ISO/IEC 15416 (linear) and ISO/IEC 15415 (2D). The European Standard EN 1635 has been withdrawn and replaced by ISO/IEC 15416. The original U.S. barcode quality specification was ANSI X3.182. (UPCs used in the US – ANSI/UCC5). As of 2011 the ISO workgroup JTC1 SC31 was developing a Direct Part Marking (DPM) quality standard: ISO/IEC TR 29158.

Benefits

In point-of-sale management, barcode systems can provide detailed up-to-date information on the business, accelerating decisions and with more confidence. For example: * Fast-selling items can be identified quickly and automatically reordered. * Slow-selling items can be identified, preventing inventory build-up. * The effects of merchandising changes can be monitored, allowing fast-moving, more profitable items to occupy the best space. * Historical data can be used to predict seasonal fluctuations very accurately. * Items may be repriced on the shelf to reflect both sale prices and price increases. * This technology also enables the profiling of individual consumers, typically through a voluntary registration of discount cards. While pitched as a benefit to the consumer, this practice is considered to be potentially dangerous by privacy advocates. Besides sales and inventory tracking, barcodes are very useful in logistics and supply chain management. * When a manufacturer packs a box for shipment, a Unique Identifying Number (UID) can be assigned to the box. * A database can link the UID to relevant information about the box; such as order number, items packed, quantity packed, destination, etc. * The information can be transmitted through a communication system such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) so the retailer has the information about a shipment before it arrives. * Shipments that are sent to a Distribution Center (DC) are tracked before forwarding. When the shipment reaches its final destination, the UID gets scanned, so the store knows the shipment's source, contents, and cost. Barcode scanners are relatively low cost and extremely accurate compared to key-entry, with only about 1 substitution error in 15,000 to 36 trillion characters entered. The exact error rate depends on the type of barcode.

Types of barcodes

Linear barcodes

A first generation, "one dimensional" barcode that is made up of lines and spaces of various widths that create specific patterns.

Matrix (2D) barcodes

A ''matrix code'', also termed a ''2D barcode'' or simply a ''2D code'', is a two-dimensional way to represent information. It is similar to a linear (1-dimensional) barcode, but can represent more data per unit area.

Example images

File:UPC-A-036000291452.png|GTIN-12 number encoded in UPC-A barcode symbol. First and last digit are always placed outside the symbol to indicate Quiet Zones that are necessary for barcode scanners to work properly File:EAN-13-5901234123457.svg|EAN-13 (GTIN-13) number encoded in EAN-13 barcode symbol. First digit is always placed outside the symbol, additionally right quiet zone indicator (>) is used to indicate Quiet Zones that are necessary for barcode scanners to work properly File:Code93.png|"Wikipedia" encoded in Code 93 File:Code39.png|"*WIKI39*" encoded in Code 39 File:Wikipedia barcode 128.svg|'Wikipedia" encoded in Code 128 File:Codablock-F Example.png|An example of a ''stacked barcode''. Specifically a "Codablock" barcode. File:Better Sample PDF417.png|PDF417 sample File:Lorem Ipsum.png|Lorem ipsum boilerplate text as four segment Data Matrix 2D File:Azteccodeexample.svg|"This is an example Aztec symbol for Wikipedia" encoded in Aztec Code File:EZcode.png|Text 'EZcode' File:High Capacity Color Barcode.png| High Capacity Color Barcode of the URL for Wikipedia's article on High Capacity Color Barcode File:Dataglyph511140.png|"Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia" in several languages encoded in DataGlyphs File:35mm film audio macro.jpg|Two different 2D barcodes used in film: Dolby Digital between the sprocket holes with the "Double-D" logo in the middle, and Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in the blue area to the left of the sprocket holes File:WikiQRCode.png|The QR Code for the Wikipedia URL. "Quick Response", the most popular 2D barcode. It is open in that the specification is disclosed and the patent is not exercised. File:MaxiCode.svg|MaxiCode example. This encodes the string "Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia" File:Shotcode.png|ShotCode sample File:Twibright Optar Detail Scanned.png|detail of Twibright Optar scan from laser printed paper, carrying 32 kbit/s Ogg Vorbis digital music (48 seconds per A4 page) File:KarTrak code.jpg|A KarTrak railroad Automatic Equipment Identification label on a caboose in Florida

In popular culture

In architecture, a building in Lingang New City by German architects Gerkan, Marg and Partners incorporates a barcode design, as does a shopping mall calle
''Shtrikh-kod''
(Russian for ''barcode'') in Narodnaya ulitsa ("People's Street") in the Nevskiy district of St. Petersburg, Russia. In media, in 2011, the National Film Board of Canada and ARTE France launched a web documentary entitled ''Barcode.tv'', which allows users to view films about everyday objects by scanning the product's barcode with their iPhone camera. In professional wrestling, the WWE stable D-Generation X incorporated a barcode into their entrance video, as well as on a T-shirt. In the TV series ''Dark Angel'', the protagonist and the other transgenics in the Manticore X-series have barcodes on the back of their necks. In video games, the protagonist of the ''Hitman'' video game series has a barcode tattoo on the back of his head. Also, QR codes can be scanned for an extra mission on ''Watch Dogs''. In the films ''Back to the Future Part II'' and ''The Handmaid's Tale'', cars in the future are depicted with barcode licence plates. In the ''Terminator'' films, Skynet burns barcodes onto the inside surface of the wrists of captive humans (in a similar location to the WW2 concentration camp tattoos) as a unique identifier. In music, Dave Davies of The Kinks released a solo album in 1980, ''AFL1-3603'', which featured a giant barcode on the front cover in place of the musician's head. The album's name was also the barcode number. The April 1978 issue of ''Mad Magazine'' featured a giant barcode on the cover, with the blurb "adHopes this issue jams up every computer in the country...for forcing us to deface our covers with this yecchy UPC symbol from now on!" The 2018 videogame ''Judgment'' features QR Codes that protagonist Takayuki Yagami can photograph with his phone camera. These are mostly to unlock parts for Yagami's Drone. Interactive Textbooks were first published by ''Harcourt College Publishers to Expand Education Technology with Interactive Textbooks.''

Designed barcodes

Some brands integrate custom designs into barcodes (while keeping them readable) on their consumer products. File:Design Barcode Grasvodka IMG 5574.JPG File:Barcode Tall Horse1.jpg File:Hühner-Bouillon K Designbarcode 4337185009907 IMG 8716.jpg File:Sardinendose K Barcode Art valid IMG11829.jpg File:Barcode_peanut.jpg

There was minor skepticism from conspiracy theorists, who considered barcodes to be an intrusive surveillance technology, and from some Christians, pioneered by a 1982 book ''The New Money System 666'' by Mary Stewart Relfe, who thought the codes hid the number 666, representing the "Number of the Beast". Old Believers, a separation of the Russian Orthodox Church, believe barcodes are the stamp of the Antichrist. Television host Phil Donahue described barcodes as a "corporate plot against consumers".

* Automated identification and data capture (AIDC) * Barcode printer * European Article Numbering-Uniform Code Council * Global Trade Item Number * Identifier * Inventory control system * Object hyperlinking * Semacode * SMS barcode * SPARQCode (QR code) * List of GS1 country codes

References