This is the final segment of When Did Barcodes Begin. This certainly won’t be our last post about historic events in the barcoding industry, but this series has finally reached present-day barcoding and even some incredible futuristic uses of barcodes.
We’ve covered a lot of history involving barcodes. So far we’ve covered:
Who invented the barcode?
The idea of the barcode was developed by several people over the span of at least a decade. Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland are traditionally referred to as the first to introduce the idea of the barcode in 1948.
When did barcodes start being used?
The Association of American Railroads adopted an optical barcode system in 1967 from Sylvania called KarTrak.
When did grocery stores begin using the barcode?
Barcodes were first introduced in grocery stores on June 26, 1974.
When did the government first require barcode labels?
In 2004, the United States Department of Defense mandated that a UID (Unique Identification) label be attached to equipment that meet specific requirements.
So, what are the current uses of barcodes and what can we look forward to in the near future?
Barcodes now come in two main forms – linear and 2-D. Each have many different symbologies. Linear barcodes (as depicted below) are comprised of a simple series of black lines and white spaces that provide a limited amount of data related to the product.
On the other hand, 2-D barcodes (like below) are stacked or matrix in format. This “stacked” configuration allows a greater amount of information to be stored in a much smaller space.
Here are a few great examples of how 2-D barcodes are used in marketing.