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Tech: How A Bar Code Can Be Used In Different Technological Ways

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Bar code Technology in the Future

The bar code was first designed and created by Joe Woodland and Bob Silver in 1952. The first one was scanned at a supermarket in Miami in 1974. I do not think that either of these two inventors had any idea about how their invention would develop in the future. They are used in almost every sphere of our lives. They have become common place and are taken for granted.

Bar code technology is advancing throughout the world and inventors are designing new formats as well as new ways of using existing formats. What lies in store for the future? We at Barcode Solutions are very excited to be part of this revolution and invite you to join us in this journey.


In the past, one dimensional codes played the greater role in everyday society. These are also called Linear bar codes and they are only able to store between 8 and 15 characters. Examples of these are the UPC and EAN that are used in retailers throughout South Africa as well as overseas. They are scanned using a handheld scanner that will need to be within a narrow distance range in order to be able to scan the bar code.

They are used in the sales process as well as in stock control. They are used to control the whole sales process from the production of goods all the way to the distribution and sales of each individual item. Our lives would not be the same without these simple codes.

In these modern times, we are developing more and more uses of the two dimensional bar code technology. More and more people are incorporating them into the day to day running of their small business. A 2D format is set on a patten of squares, dots and other shapes and is able to store a lot more information than a 1D format.

They can be scanned by a 2D scanner. The most popular 2D format is the Quick Response code. They can be scanned by any Smartphone and will link your clients with your business URL where you can promote awareness of your business as well as any promotions you are currently running. QRC’s are also used in SnapScan and many other payment applications.

These applications make it a lot more convenient for your clients to pay for their purchases simply by scanning a image and following a few prompts on the screen. It is completely secure and is a popular means of payment that is spreading throughout the world.

RFID tags are another step we are taking in the advancement of technology.

This Radio Frequency Identification can be defined as electronic devices that include a chip as well as an antenna. They are normally very small, and it is possible to store as much as 2000 bytes of data on each tag. In this way, they are far more efficient than either a one dimensional or two dimensional bar code. What makes these RFID tags so special is that that they do not need to be right in front of the scanning device in order to be scanned.

Normal scanners can scan them up to a metre away and if you are using more high frequency scanning devices, the RFID tag can be scanned up to 6 metres away. In the retail setting this would mean that you could place your bag of groceries on the scanner on the counter and it would ring up each item without having to individually scan it.

In Africa, RFID tags are also being used on toll roads to get your information and take payment.

Listen to this video on BBC on how RFID tags have grown.


In addition, another modern advancement involves image recognition. This requires a scanner that has image recognition technology on it. This scanner is able to tell what a product is without a traditional code. The way this works is through a bar code called a Digimarc. This is an EAN or UPC that is encoded in the product itself. This is set to revolutionise the checkout procedures at retailers worldwide.

They are also advancing into other spheres of life. Architects are incorporating them into their designs of buildings throughout the world. Even interior designers are becoming inspired. Homes are being decorated in a minimalistic design with EAN’s as the main inspiration. Bar code technology has even entered the beauty industry. Tattoo artists are designing tattoos with the stark black lines as inspiration. You get your nails painted in these designs as well. These are all very unique ways to make a statement.

As well as in helping hospitals as well throughout the world to save more lives. It helps to control each step in a patient’s journey through a hospital, thus enabling hospitals to give the best possible service. A bar code system is being used to control the Blood bank as well as the Pharmacy so that the patient receives the correct blood type and medication.

Using this system within hospitals lowers the possibility of human error, which in turn saves millions of lives throughout the world. They are also used as access cards or tags to restrict access to certain areas of hospitals which leads to much safer hospitals for both staff and patients alike. Such as boosting the safety of babies in Kettering, a town in England.

Barcoding babies in hospital

To conclude, the future is indeed an exciting one. We encourage you to join us on this exciting journey into the future. We are able to provide both one dimensional and two dimensional of the highest quality. They are fully registered and come with a certificate of authentication that assures you that they have not been used before.

Our service is fast and efficient, and we have all the tools that you need to make your business dreams come true. We are here to ensure that you have everything you need to make a success of your business in this competitive world. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a quote or if you have any other questions.


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