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Did you know that the first product to be scanned with a barcode was a 10 pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum?
This fact may sound a bit too elementary for you but this is where my post will evolve. June 1974 marks the first use of a bar coding scanning equipment first seen in Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio although it wasn’t that much adopted for commercial use.
You may want to ask, who ate the gum afterward? Tell you what, to this date, the pack of gum remains on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
Looking back at the history of barcodes which was basically intended for labeling railroad cars, its adoption by the United States Department of Defense using Code 39 symbology (or the mapping between messages and barcodes) to mark all products sold to the US military started the widespread adoption of barcoding in industries.
At present, almost every item from supermarkets and grocery stores has a UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode. Generally, barcoding helps in tracking huge amount of items, inventory and sales for retailers and an added security as well for consumers in terms of returns. It’s also used extensively for membership cards on big retail chains, document management, shipped items for currier and freight forwarders, and boarding passes for travelers are just among its countless uses.
Barcode Scanners (also known as Barcode Readers) are electronic devices used to read printed barcodes using a light source, lens and a light sensor that decodes image data to the scanner’s output. Industries utilizing the barcoding technology on a larger scale utilize barcode software which can be used with MSWord or MSExcel for creating invoices or other documents with barcodes. In fact, some companies adopt Inventory Control Software for managing large amounts of inventory and better tracking.
Nowadays, employers make use of Time and Attendance Software for tracking attendance records which may include biometric (fingerprint scan), RFID (ID badges) or barcode time clock. This way, employers can track who were tardy, absent, over break or anybody who’s sleeping during work hours.
Barcoding has rapidly evolved and is not going anywhere as far as I know but imitating the Hitman (a guy with a barcode tattoo on his shaved head) movie idea isn’t clever.