Learn all about the “Bar-Codes”

The Internet of Things or better known as “IoT” is changing the way we have been doing things. Today you have been well informed about the products you purchase, your wishlists, your options for purchase have been very much influenced by the IoT.

Recently i came across a futuristic thoughts article series in which the “Material Scanning Techniques” was explained in detail. The process flow / Material flow in the existing production environment is being tracked well with the “Barcode” Systems widely. With the Bar-code the Scanning is being done with a scanner and on a particular portion in which the Barcode is printed.

What is Bar-Code:

A barcode is “A machine-readable code in the form of numbers and a pattern of parallel lines of varying widths, printed on , to identify a product.” Barcode systems help businesses and organizations to track products, prices, and stock levels for centralized management in a computer software system allowing for an incredible increase in productivity and efficiency. (1)

To understand more lets watch this Video,

You know what? The Bar-Code history is almost 70 Years (1949), its continually evolving from the day Joseph Woodland, a mechanical engineer at Drexel University, invented a methodology like morse code to convert information which can be readable by machines. The very first Bar-Code system was used at the “Supermarket” to “Classify the Material”. Later many years the Bar-Code system was evolved and first linear Universally accepted system was introduced in the year 1974. Very interestingly the very first item scanned with that was “Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum”.

Let me share more details on What kind of BAr codes  exist and how we can use it for our requirements,

1 D Barcode & Details
1 D Barcode & Details

Barcode 1

2D Barcode & Details
2D Barcode & Details

Now we have know which Bar-code to use where. Computers scans and understands ‘1’ & ‘0’ based on the Vertical column strips. To understand more shall we watch how the Bar-Code Works? [Click the Video]

At the End of this section lets look at an Info-graphic which provides details on the Evolution of Bar-Code.

60th anniversary of the barcode

Section 2

The Futuristic Approach:

1D Bar-codes can store a maximum of 85 characters,where as the 2D Bar-codes can store about 7,000 Characters. It means it can store the contents equivalent to 84 Tweets. So the Organizations can store more data by using the 2D Barcode, having more data in a single Bar-code we don’t have to have multiple 1D Bar-Codes & Scan multiple time.


What i see personally is, this 2D “QR Code” will certainly revolutionize the apparel industry, especially in the environment where the Product Manufacturing Transparency is being widely expected by the End-Users / Buyers & Manufacturers.With this QR code one can store enough data about the Product where it was manufactured, What type of Compliance they are into, so that End User with the Use of their Gadgets can understand more about the Product.

Yet, There are other very effective Bar-Codes / Material Tracking / Scanning systems  available such as “RFID & NFC”. You would have heard RFID – [Radio-Frequency Identification] tags, they are being used in the Warehousing and asset tracking, it can scan the information even upto 100 meters – which made them to adopt where the real time and “Zero Tolerance” on miscounting inventory is expected. Though RFID is having high potential for various end use, its been less widely used because of the Cost. Cost of an RFID tag would cost  as much as $0.20, where as the Printed bar-codes costs very little. WIth the other Scanning systems such as NFC / Image Scanning this RFID soon would be less preferred.

NFC – Near Field CommNFC-Helps-Every-Day-Lifeunication

The power of Mobile and Gadgets has opened a new avenue, where Payments can be done through virtual Wallet with the Help of NFC. 

NFC’s have strong influence on “Internet of Things,” in the near future with this tags, if an user passes by the product or scan it, the detailed information or a demo video would be played in the user’s mobile. With the Mobile users numbers increasing, we need to think how NFC can be adopted to explore new possibilities.


[1] Wasp Bar code

Raman Azhahia Manavalan

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