Barcode

Barcode

Overview

A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data, which shows data about the object to which it attaches. Originally barcodes represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or 1 dimensional (1D). Later they evolved into rectangle
Rectangle
In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles. The term "oblong" is occasionally used to refer to a non-square rectangle...

s, dot
Dot
- Typography :* Full stop, also called period in American English, used as a sentence terminator and as a decimal separator in numerals - Typography :* Full stop, also called period in American English, used as a sentence terminator and as a decimal separator (decimal point) in numerals -...

s, hexagons and other geometric patterns in 2 dimensions (2D).
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Encyclopedia

A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data, which shows data about the object to which it attaches. Originally barcodes represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or 1 dimensional (1D). Later they evolved into rectangle
Rectangle
In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles. The term "oblong" is occasionally used to refer to a non-square rectangle...

s, dot
Dot
- Typography :* Full stop, also called period in American English, used as a sentence terminator and as a decimal separator in numerals - Typography :* Full stop, also called period in American English, used as a sentence terminator and as a decimal separator (decimal point) in numerals -...

s, hexagons and other geometric patterns in 2 dimensions (2D). Although 2D systems use a variety of symbols, they are generally referred to as barcodes as well. Barcodes originally were scanned by special optical scanners called barcode reader
Barcode reader
A barcode reader is an electronic device for reading printed barcodes. Like a flatbed scanner, it consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor translating optical impulses into electrical ones...

s; later, scanners and interpretive software became available on devices including desktop printers and smartphone
Smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

s.

The first use of barcodes was to label railroad cars, but they were not commercially successful until they were used to automate supermarket
Supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

 checkout
Point of sale
Point of sale or checkout is the location where a transaction occurs...

 systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. Their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic identification and data capture (AIDC). The very first scanning of the now ubiquitous Universal Product Code
Universal Product Code
The Universal Product Code is a barcode symbology , that is widely used in North America, and in countries including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand for tracking trade items in stores. Its most common form, the UPC-A, consists of 12 numerical digits, which are uniquely assigned to each trade item...

 (UPC) barcode was on a pack of Wrigley Company chewing gum in June 1974.

Other systems have made inroads in the AIDC market, but the simplicity, universality and low cost of barcodes has limited the role of these other systems until the first decade of the 21st century, over 40 years after the introduction of the commercial barcode, with the introduction of technologies such as radio frequency identification, or RFID.

History


In 1948 Bernard Silver
Bernard Silver
Bernard Silver was an early developer of barcode technology alongside Norman Joseph Woodland.Silver earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Drexel Institute of Technology in 1947...

, a graduate student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA overheard the president of the local food chain, Food Fair, asking one of the deans to research a system to automatically read product information during checkout. Silver told his friend Norman Joseph Woodland
Norman Joseph Woodland
Norman Joseph Woodland is best known as one of the inventors of the barcode, for which he received US Patent 2,612,994 in October 1952. He is also known as N. Joseph Woodland and N.J. Woodland.-Personal life:...

 about the request, and they started working on a variety of systems. Their first working system used ultraviolet
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

 ink, but this proved too easy to fade and was fairly expensive.

Convinced that the system was workable with further development, Woodland left Drexel, moved into his father's apartment in Florida, and continued working on the system. His next inspiration came from Morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

, and he formed his first barcode from sand on the beach. "I just extended the dots and dashes downwards and made narrow lines and wide lines out of them." To read them, he adapted technology from optical soundtrack
Soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...

s in movies, using a 500-watt
Watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

 light bulb
Incandescent light bulb
The incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe makes light by heating a metal filament wire to a high temperature until it glows. The hot filament is protected from air by a glass bulb that is filled with inert gas or evacuated. In a halogen lamp, a chemical process...

 shining through the paper onto an RCA935 photomultiplier
Photomultiplier
Photomultiplier tubes , members of the class of vacuum tubes, and more specifically phototubes, are extremely sensitive detectors of light in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum...

 tube (from a movie projector
Movie projector
A movie projector is an opto-mechanical device for displaying moving pictures by projecting them on a projection screen. Most of the optical and mechanical elements, except for the illumination and sound devices, are present in movie cameras.-Physiology:...

) on the far side. He later decided that the system would work better if it were printed as a circle instead of a line, allowing it to be scanned in any direction.

On 20 October 1949 Woodland and Silver filed a patent application
Patent application
A patent application is a request pending at a patent office for the grant of a patent for the invention described and claimed by that application. An application consists of a description of the invention , together with official forms and correspondence relating to the application...

 for "Classifying Apparatus and Method", in which they described both the linear and bullseye
Bullseye (target)
The bullseye, or bull's-eye, is the centre of a target , and by extension the name given to any shot that hits the bullseye...

 printing patterns, as well as the mechanical and electronic systems needed to read the code. The patent was issued on 7 October 1952 as US Patent 2,612,994. In 1951, Woodland moved to IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 and continually tried to interest IBM in developing the system. The company eventually commissioned a report on the idea, which concluded that it was both feasible and interesting, but that processing the resulting information would require equipment that was some time off in the future.

In 1952 Philco
Philco
Philco, the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company , was a pioneer in early battery, radio, and television production as well as former employer of Philo Farnsworth, inventor of cathode ray tube television...

 purchased their patent, and then sold it to RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

 the same year.

Collins at Sylvania


During his time as an undergraduate, David Collins worked at the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 and became aware of the need to automatically identify railroad car
Railroad car
A railroad car or railway vehicle , also known as a bogie in Indian English, is a vehicle on a rail transport system that is used for the carrying of cargo or passengers. Cars can be coupled together into a train and hauled by one or more locomotives...

s. Immediately after receiving his master's degree from MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 in 1959, he started work at GTE Sylvania
Sylvania Electric Products
Sylvania Electric Products was a U.S. manufacturer of diverse electrical equipment, including at various times radio transceivers, vacuum tubes, semiconductors, and mainframe computers...

 and began addressing the problem. He developed a system called KarTrak using blue and yellow reflective stripes attached to the side of the cars, encoding a six-digit company identifier and a four-digit car number. Light reflected off the stripes was fed into one of two photomultipliers, filtered for blue or yellow.

The Boston and Maine Railroad
Boston and Maine Railroad
The Boston and Maine Corporation , known as the Boston and Maine Railroad until 1964, was the dominant railroad of the northern New England region of the United States for a century...

 tested the KarTrak system on their gravel
Gravel
Gravel is composed of unconsolidated rock fragments that have a general particle size range and include size classes from granule- to boulder-sized fragments. Gravel can be sub-categorized into granule and cobble...

 cars in 1961. The tests continued until 1967, when the Association of American Railroads
Association of American Railroads
The Association of American Railroads is an industry trade group representing primarily the major freight railroads of North America . Amtrak and some regional commuter railroads are also members...

 (AAR) selected it as a standard, Automatic Car Identification, across the entire North American fleet. The installations began on October 10, 1967. However, the economic downturn and rash of bankruptcies
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 in the industry in the early 1970s greatly slowed the rollout, and it was not until 1974 that 95% of the fleet was labeled. To add to its woes, the system was found to be easily fooled by dirt in certain applications, and greatly affected accuracy. The AAR abandoned the system in the late 1970s, and it was not until the mid-1980s that they introduced a similar system, this time based on radio tags.

The railway project had failed, but a toll bridge
Toll bridge
A toll bridge is a bridge over which traffic may pass upon payment of a toll, or fee.- History :The practice of collecting tolls on bridges probably harks back to the days of ferry crossings where people paid a fee to be ferried across stretches of water. As boats became impractical to carry large...

 in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 requested a similar system so that it could quickly scan for cars that had purchased a monthly pass. Then the U.S. Post Office
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 requested a system to track trucks entering and leaving their facilities. These applications required special retroreflector
Retroreflector
A retroreflector is a device or surface that reflects light back to its source with a minimum scattering of light. An electromagnetic wave front is reflected back along a vector that is parallel to but opposite in direction from the wave's source. The device or surface's angle of incidence is...

 labels. Finally, Kal Kan
Whiskas
Whiskas is a brand of cat food sold throughout the world. It is owned by the American group Mars, Incorporated. It is available either as meat-like pieces in cans, pouches, or dry biscuits. Most packaging is a recognisable purple colour.-History:...

 asked the Sylvania team for a simpler (and cheaper) version which they could put on cases of pet food for inventory control. This, in turn, interested the grocery industry.

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 Computer Identics Corporation. Computer Identics started working with helium-neon laser
Helium-neon laser
A helium–neon laser or HeNe laser, is a type of gas laser whose gain medium consists of a mixture of helium and neon inside of a small bore capillary tube, usually excited by a DC electrical discharge.- History of HeNe laser development:...

s in place of light bulbs, scanning with a mirror to locate the barcode anywhere up to several feet in front of the scanner. This made the entire process much simpler and more reliable, as well as allowing it to deal with damaged labels by reading the intact portions.

Computer Identics Corporation installed one of its first two scanning systems in the spring of 1969 at a General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 (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 Carlsbad, New Jersey to direct shipments to the proper loading bay.

Universal Product Code


In 1966 the National Association of Food Chains (NAFC) held a meeting where they discussed the idea of automated checkout systems. RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

 had purchased rights to the original Woodland patent, attended the meeting and initiated an internal project to develop a system based on the bullseye code. The Kroger
Kroger
The Kroger Co. is an American supermarket chain founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It reported US$ 76.7 billion in sales during fiscal year 2009. It is the country's largest grocery store chain and its second-largest grocery retailer by volume and second-place general retailer...

 grocery chain volunteered to test it.

In mid-1970, the NAFC established the U.S. Supermarket Ad Hoc Committee on a Uniform Grocery Product Code, which set guidelines for barcode development and created a symbol selection subcommittee to help standardize the approach. In cooperation with consulting firm McKinsey & Co., they developed a standardized 11-digit code to identify any product. The committee then sent out a contract tender to develop a barcode system
Barcode system
A barcode system is a network of hardware and software, consisting primarily of mobile computers, printers, handheld scanners, infrastructure, and supporting software. Barcode systems are used to automate data collection where hand recording is neither timely or cost effective...

 to print and read the code. The request went to Singer
Singer Corporation
Singer Corporation is a manufacturer of sewing machines, first established as I.M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac Merritt Singer with New York lawyer Edward Clark. Best known for its sewing machines, it was renamed Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865, then The Singer Company in 1963. It is...

, National Cash Register (NCR), Litton Industries
Litton Industries
Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.-History:...

, RCA, Pitney-Bowes, IBM and many others. A wide variety of barcode approaches were studied, including linear codes, RCA's bullseye concentric circle code, starburst
Starburst
Starburst may refer to:*Starburst region, a generic term to describe a region of space with a much higher than normal star formation*Starburst galaxy*Starburst , the breaking up of a large company...

 patterns and others.

In the spring of 1971 RCA demonstrated their bullseye code at another industry meeting. IBM executives at the meeting noticed the crowds at the RCA booth and immediately developed their own system. IBM marketing specialist Alec Jablonover remembered that the company still employed Woodland, and he established a new facility in North Carolina to lead development.

In July 1972 RCA began an eighteen-month test in a Kroger store in Cincinnati. Barcodes were printed on small pieces of adhesive paper, and attached by hand by store employees when they were adding price tags. The code proved to have a serious problem. During printing, presses sometimes smear ink in the direction the paper is running, rendering the code unreadable in most orientations. A linear code, like the one being developed by Woodland at IBM, however, was printed in the direction of the stripes, so extra ink simply makes the code "taller" while remaining readable, and on April 3, 1973 the IBM UPC was selected by NAFC as their standard. IBM had designed five versions of the UPC symbology for future industry requirements: UPC A, B, C, D, and E.

NCR installed a testbed system at Marsh's Supermarket
Marsh Supermarkets
Marsh Supermarkets is a retail food chain headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, with stores throughout Central Indiana and parts of Ohio. Its parent company is Sun Capital Partners, headquarterd in Boca Raton, Florida.-History:...

 in Troy, Ohio
Troy, Ohio
* - Sports :In addition to Troy High School athletics, Troy is home to the Miami Valley Silverbacks indoor football team of the Continental Indoor Football League....

, USA near the factory that was producing the equipment. On June 26, 1974, Clyde Dawson pulled a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit
Juicy Fruit
Juicy Fruit is a brand of chewing gum made by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, a U.S. company that since 2008 has been a subsidiary of the privately-held Mars, Incorporated. It was introduced in 1893, and in the 21st century the brand name is recognized by 99 percent of Americans, with total sales in...

 gum out of his basket and it was scanned by Sharon Buchanan at 8:01 am. The pack of gum and the receipt are now on display in the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

. It was the first commercial appearance of the UPC.

In 1971 IBM had assembled a team for an intensive planning session, day after day, 12 to 18 hours a day, to hash out how the whole system might operate and to schedule a rollout plan. By 1973 they were meeting with grocery manufacturers to introduce the symbol that would need to be printed on all of their products. There were no cost savings for a grocery to use it unless at least 70% of the grocery's products had the barcode printed on the product by the manufacturer. IBM was projecting that 75% would be needed in 1975. Even though that was achieved, there still were scanning machines in fewer than 200 grocery stores by 1977.

Economic studies conducted for the grocery industry committee projected over $40 million in savings to the industry from scanning by the mid-1970s. Those numbers were not achieved in that timeframe and some predicted the demise of barcode scanning. The usefulness of the barcode required the adoption of expensive scanners by a critical mass of retailers while manufacturers simultaneously adopted barcode labels. Neither wanted to move first and results were not promising for the first couple of years, with Business Week proclaiming "The Supermarket Scanner That Failed."

Experience with barcode scanning in those stores revealed additional benefits. The detailed sales information acquired by the new systems allowed greater responsiveness to customer needs. This was reflected in the fact that about 5 weeks after installing barcode scanners, sales in grocery stores typically started climbing and eventually leveled off at a 10-12% increase in sales that never dropped off. There also was a 1–2% decrease in operating cost for the stores that enabled them to lower prices to increase market share. It was shown in the field that the return on investment for a barcode scanner was 41.5%. By 1980, 8,000 stores per year were converting.

The global public launch of the barcode was greeted with minor skepticism from conspiracy theorists
Conspiracy theory
A conspiracy theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.-Usage:The term "conspiracy...

, who considered barcodes to be an intrusive surveillance
Surveillance
Surveillance is the monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people. It is sometimes done in a surreptitious manner...

 technology, and from some Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s who thought the codes hid the number 666, representing the number of the beast
Number of the Beast
The Number of the Beast is a term in the Book of Revelation, of the New Testament, that is associated with the first Beast of Revelation chapter 13, the Beast of the sea. In most manuscripts of the New Testament and in English translations of the Bible, the number of the Beast is...

. Television host Phil Donahue
Phil Donahue
Phillip John "Phil" Donahue is an American media personality, writer, and film producer best known as the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show. The television program, also known as Donahue, was the first to use a talk show format. The show had a 26-year run on U.S...

 described barcodes as a "corporate plot against consumers".

Industrial adoption


In 1981 the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 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


Barcodes such as the UPC
Universal Product Code
The Universal Product Code is a barcode symbology , that is widely used in North America, and in countries including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand for tracking trade items in stores. Its most common form, the UPC-A, consists of 12 numerical digits, which are uniquely assigned to each trade item...

 have become a ubiquitous element of modern civilization, as evidenced by their enthusiastic adoption by stores around the world; almost every item other than fresh produce from a grocery store
Grocery store
A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

, department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

, and mass merchandiser has a UPC barcode on it. This helps track items and also reduces instances of shoplifting
Shoplifting
Shoplifting is theft of goods from a retail establishment. It is one of the most common property crimes dealt with by police and courts....

 involving price tag swapping, although shoplifters can now print their own barcodes. In addition, retail chain membership cards (issued mostly by grocery stores and specialty "big box" retail stores such as sporting equipment, office supply, or pet stores) use bar codes to uniquely identify consumers, allowing for customized marketing and greater understanding of individual consumer shopping patterns. At the point of sale, shoppers can get product discounts or special marketing offers through the address or e-mail address provided at registration.
Barcodes can allow for the organization of large amounts of data. They are widely used in the healthcare and hospital settings
Barcode technology in healthcare
Barcode technology in healthcare is the use of optical machine-readable representation of data in a hospital or healthcare setting.Dating back to the 1970s, there has been a continual effort among healthcare settings to adopt barcode technology. In the early 2000s, published reports began to...

, ranging from patient identification (to access patient data, including medical history, drug allergies, etc.) to medication management. They are also used to facilitate the separation and indexing of documents that have been imaged in batch scanning applications, track the organization of species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 in biology, and integrate with in-motion checkweighers to identify the item being weighed in a conveyor line for data collection
Data collection
Data collection is a term used to describe a process of preparing and collecting data, for example, as part of a process improvement or similar project. The purpose of data collection is to obtain information to keep on record, to make decisions about important issues, to pass information on to...

.

They can also be used to keep track of objects and people; they are used to keep track of rental cars, airline luggage, nuclear waste, registered mail
Registered mail
Registered mail describes letters, packets or other postal documents considered valuable and need a chain of custody that provides more control than regular mail. The posted item has its details recorded in a register to enable its location to be tracked, sometimes with added insurance to cover loss...

, express mail
Express mail
In most postal systems express mail refers to an accelerated delivery service for which the customer pays a surcharge and receives faster delivery. Express mail is a service for domestic mail and is governed by a country's own postal administration...

 and parcels. Barcoded tickets allow the holder to enter sports arenas, cinemas, theatres, fairgrounds, and transportation, and are used to record the arrival and departure of vehicles from rental facilities etc. This can allow proprietors to identify duplicate or fraudulent tickets more easily. Barcodes are widely used in shop floor control applications software where employees can scan work orders and track the time spent on a job.

Some 2D barcodes embed a hyperlink
Hyperlink
In computing, a hyperlink is a reference to data that the reader can directly follow, or that is followed automatically. A hyperlink points to a whole document or to a specific element within a document. Hypertext is text with hyperlinks...

 to a web page
Web page
A web page or webpage is a document or information resource that is suitable for the World Wide Web and can be accessed through a web browser and displayed on a monitor or mobile device. This information is usually in HTML or XHTML format, and may provide navigation to other web pages via hypertext...

. A capable cellphone might be used to read the pattern and browse the linked website, which can help a shopper find the best price for an item in the vicinity. Since 2005, airlines use an IATA-standard 2D barcode on boarding passes (BCBP), and since 2008 2D barcodes sent to mobile phones enable electronic boarding passes.

Some applications for barcodes have fallen out of use; In the 1970s and 1980s, software source code was occasionally encoded in a barcode and printed on paper( Cauzin Softstrip
Cauzin Softstrip
Cauzin Softstrip was the first commercial 2D barcode format. Introduced in 1985, it could store up to 1000 bytes per square inch, which was 20 to 100 times more than the bar codes of the day. It is now known as Datastrip code....

 and Paperbyte are barcode symbologies specifically designed for this application.), and the 1991 Barcode Battler
Barcode Battler
The is a handheld gaming console released by Epoch in March 1991.The console at retail was supplied with a number of cards, each of which had a barcode. Upon starting the game, the player must swipe a barcode representing a player. The game uses barcodes to create a character for the player to...

 computer game system used any standard barcode to generate combat statistics.

In the 21st century many artists have started using barcodes in art, such as Scott Blake
Scott Blake
Scott Blake was born in Tampa, Florida in the autumn of 1976. Nearing the turn of the millennium, Blake created a series of artworks that involved reworkings of barcodes to create artwork. Barcode art was something that quickly became an internet thread. It was largely unknown exactly where this...

's Barcode Jesus, as part of the post-modernism movement.

Symbologies


The mapping between messages and barcodes is called a symbology
Symbology
Symbology concerns the study of symbols.Symbology may also refer to:-Academics:* Semiotics, study of signs and symbols* Iconography, branch of art history which studies images...

. The specification of a symbology includes the encoding of the single digits/characters of the message as well as the start and stop markers into bars and space, the size of the quiet zone required to be before and after the barcode as well as the computation of a checksum
Checksum
A checksum or hash sum is a fixed-size datum computed from an arbitrary block of digital data for the purpose of detecting accidental errors that may have been introduced during its transmission or storage. The integrity of the data can be checked at any later time by recomputing the checksum and...

.

Linear symbologies can be classified mainly by two properties:
  • Continuous vs. discrete: Characters in continuous symbologies usually abut, with one character ending with a space and the next beginning with a bar, or vice versa. Characters in discrete symbologies begin and end with bars; the intercharacter space is ignored, as long as it is not wide enough to look like the code ends.
  • Two-width vs. many-width: Bars and spaces in two-width symbologies are wide or narrow; the exact width of a wide bar has no significance as long as the symbology requirements for wide bars are adhered to (usually two to three times wider than a narrow bar). 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
Interleaving
In computer science and telecommunication, interleaving is a way to arrange data in a non-contiguous way to increase performance.It is typically used:* In error-correction coding, particularly within data transmission, disk storage, and computer memory....

. 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
Interleaved 2 of 5
Interleaved 2 of 5 is a continuous two-width barcode symbology encoding digits. It is used commercially on 135 film and on cartons of some products, while the products inside are labeled with UPC or EAN....

 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. 2-D symbologies also come in circular and other patterns and may
employ steganography
Steganography
Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity...

, 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. 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.

2-D 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.

Scanners (barcode readers)


The earliest, and still the cheapest, barcode scanners are built from a fixed light and a single photosensor that is manually "scrubbed" 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. 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 are easy to install and do not need custom code for transferring input data to the application program.

Quality control and verification


Barcode verification examines scanability and the quality of the barcode in comparison to industry standards and specifications. Barcode verifiers are primarily used by businesses that print and use barcodes. Any trading partner in the supply chain
Supply chain
A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform natural resources, raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to...

 can test barcode quality. It is important to verify a barcode to ensure that any reader in the supply chain can successfully interpret a bar code with a low error rate. Retailers levy large penalties for non-compliant barcodes. These chargebacks can reduce a manufacturer's revenue by 2% to 10%.

A barcode verifier works the way a reader does, but instead of simply decoding a barcode, a verifier performs a series of tests. For linear barcodes these tests are:
  • Edge Determination
  • Minimum Reflectance
  • Symbol Contrast
  • Minimum Edge Contrast
  • Modulation
  • Defects
  • Decode
  • Decodability

2D matrix symbols look at the parameters:
  • Symbol Contrast
  • Modulation
  • Decode
  • Unused Error Correction
  • Fixed (finder) Pattern Damage
  • Grid Non-uniformity
  • Axial Non-uniformity


Depending on the parameter, each ANSI
Ansi
Ansi is a village in Kaarma Parish, Saare County, on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia....

 test is graded from 0.0 to 4.0 (F to A), or given a pass or fail mark. Each grade is determined by analyzing the scan reflectance profile (SRP), an analog graph of a single scan line across the entire symbol. The lowest of the 8 grades is the scan grade and the overall ISO symbol grade is the average of the individual scan grades. For most applications a 2.5 (C) is the minimum acceptable symbol grade.

Compared with a reader, a verifier measures a barcode's optical characteristics to international and industry standards. The measurement must be repeatable and consistent. Doing so requires constant conditions such as distance, illumination angle, sensor angle and verifier aperture
Aperture
In optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels. More specifically, the aperture of an optical system is the opening that determines the cone angle of a bundle of rays that come to a focus in the image plane. The aperture determines how collimated the admitted rays are,...

. Based on the verification results, the production process can be adjusted to print higher quality barcodes that will scan down the supply chain.

Barcode verifier standards

  • Barcode verifiers should comply with the ISO/IEC 15426-1 (linear) or ISO/IEC 15426-2 (2D).


This standard defines the measuring accuracy of a bar code verifier.
  • 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
    Ansi
    Ansi is a village in Kaarma Parish, Saare County, on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia....

     X3.182. (UPCs used in the US – ANSI/UCC5).


This standard defines the quality requirements for barcodes and Matrix Codes (also called Optical Codes).
  • As of 2011 the ISO workgroup JTC1 SC31 was developing a Direct Part Marking (DPM)
    Direct Part Marking
    Direct Part Marking is a process to permanently mark parts with a barcode. This is done to allow the tracking of parts through the full life cycle....

     quality standard : ISO/IEC TR 29158.


International standards are available from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

These standards are also available from local/national standardization organizations, such as ANSI, BSI, DIN
Din
DIN or Din or din can have several meanings:* A din is a loud noise.* Dīn, an Arabic term meaning "religion" or "way of life".* Din is one of the ten aspects of the Ein Sof in Kabbalah ....

, NEN and others.

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
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

.
  • 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, qty packed, destination, etc.
  • The information can be transmitted through a communication system such as Electronic Data Interchange
    Electronic Data Interchange
    Electronic data interchange is the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents or business data from one computer system to another computer system, i.e...

     (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.

Linear barcodes

Symbology Continuous
or
discrete
Bar widths Uses
U.P.C.
Universal Product Code
The Universal Product Code is a barcode symbology , that is widely used in North America, and in countries including the UK, Australia, and New Zealand for tracking trade items in stores. Its most common form, the UPC-A, consists of 12 numerical digits, which are uniquely assigned to each trade item...

 
Continuous Many Worldwide retail, GS1
GS1
Founded in 1977, GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors...

-approved – International Standard ISO/IEC 15420
Codabar
Codabar
Codabar is a linear barcode symbology developed in 1972 by Pitney Bowes Corp. . It is also known as Codeabar, Ames Code, NW-7, Monarch, Code 2 of 7, Rationalized Codabar, ANSI/AIM BC3-1995 or USD-4....

 
Discrete Two Old format used in libraries and blood banks and on airbills (out of date)
Code 25 – Non-interleaved 2 of 5
Two-out-of-five code
In telecommunication, a two-out-of-five code is an m of n code that provides exactly ten possible combinations, and thus is popular for representing decimal digits using five bits...

 
Continuous Two Industrial
Code 25 – Interleaved 2 of 5
Interleaved 2 of 5
Interleaved 2 of 5 is a continuous two-width barcode symbology encoding digits. It is used commercially on 135 film and on cartons of some products, while the products inside are labeled with UPC or EAN....

 
Continuous Two Wholesale, libraries International standard ISO/IEC 16390
Code 39
Code 39
__FORCETOC__Code 39 is a variable length, discrete barcode symbology....

 
Discrete Two Various – international standard ISO/IEC 16388
Code 93
Code 93
Code 93 is a barcode symbology designed in 1982 by Intermec to provide a higher density and data security enhancement to Code 39. It is an alphanumeric, variable length symbology. Code 93 is used primarily by Canada Post to encode supplementary delivery information...

 
Continuous Many Various
Code 128
Code 128
Code 128 is a very high-density barcode symbology. It is used for alphanumeric or numeric-only barcodes. It can encode all 128 characters of ASCII and, by use of an extension character , the Latin-1 characters defined in ISO/IEC 8859-1...

 
Continuous Many Various – International Standard ISO/IEC 15417
Code 128A  Continuous Many Various – only a CODE 128 character set, not an own symbology
Code 128B  Continuous Many Various – only a CODE 128 character set, not an own symbology
Code 128C  Continuous Many Various – only a CODE 128 character set, not an own symbology
Code 11
Code 11
Code 11 is a barcode symbology developed by Intermec in 1977. It is used primarily in telecommunications. The symbol can encode any length string consisting of the digits 0-9 and the dash character . One or more modulo-11 check digit can be included....

 
Discrete Two Telephones (out of date)
CPC Binary
CPC Binary Barcode
CPC Binary Barcode is Canada Post's proprietary symbology used in its automated mail sortation operations. This barcode is used on regular-size pieces of mail, especially mail sent using Canada Post's service...

 
Discrete Two
DUN 14  Continuous Many Various
EAN 2
EAN 2
The EAN-2 is a supplement to the EAN-13 and UPC-A barcodes. It is often used on magazines and periodicals to indicate an issue number.-Encoding:The Encoding of EAN-2 characters is very similar to that of the other European Article Numbers. The only difference is that the digits are separated by 01...

 
Continuous Many Addon code (magazines), GS1
GS1
Founded in 1977, GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors...

-approved – not an own symbology – to be used only with an EAN/UPC according to ISO/IEC 15420
EAN 5
EAN 5
The EAN-5 is a supplement to the EAN-13 barcode used on books. It is used to give a suggestion for the price of the book.ISBN Encoding – Country and Currency Values Description-Encoding:...

 
Continuous Many Addon code (books), GS1
GS1
Founded in 1977, GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors...

-approved – not an own symbology – to be used only with an EAN/UPC according to ISO/IEC 15420
EAN-8, EAN-13  Continuous Many Worldwide retail, GS1
GS1
Founded in 1977, GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors...

-approved – International Standard ISO/IEC 15420
Facing Identification Mark
Facing Identification Mark
The Facing Identification Mark, or FIM, is a bar code designed by the United States Postal Service to assist in the automated processing of mail. The FIM is a set of vertical bars printed on the envelope or postcard near the upper edge, just to the left of the postage area...

 
Continuous One USPS business reply mail
GS1-128
GS1-128
GS1-128 is an application standard of the GS1 implementation using the Code 128 barcode specification. The former correct name was UCC/EAN-128. Other no longer used names have included UCC-128 and EAN-128...

 (formerly named UCC/EAN-128), incorrectly referenced as EAN 128 and UCC 128 
Continuous Many various, GS1
GS1
Founded in 1977, GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors...

-approved -is just an application of the Code 128 (ISO/IEC 15417) using the ANS MH10.8.2 AI Datastructures. Its not an own symbology.
GS1 DataBar, formerly Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) Continuous Many Various, GS1
GS1
Founded in 1977, GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors...

-approved
HIBC (HIBCC Health Industry Bar Code) Discrete Two Healthcare – is a datastructure to be used with Code 128, Code 39 or Data Matrix
ITF-14
ITF-14
ITF-14 is the GS1 implementation of an Interleaved 2 of 5 bar code to encode a Global Trade Item Number. ITF-14 symbols are generally used on packaging levels of a product, such as a case box of 24 cans of soup...

 
Continuous Many Non-retail packaging levels, GS1
GS1
Founded in 1977, GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors...

-approved – is just an Interleaved 2/5 Code (ISO/IEC 16390) with a few additional specifications, according to the GS1 General Specifications
Latent image barcode
Latent image barcode
A latent image bar code reader located in relation to a filmstrip transport path for reading bar code data imprinted on the edge of a filmstrip. The LIBC reader comprises at least one illumination source and linear array of CCD elements extending transversely from one side wall of the film...

 
Neither Tall/short Color print film
Color print film
Color print film is the most common type of photographic film in consumer use. Print film produces a negative image when it is developed, requiring it to be reversed again when it is printed on to photographic paper....

Pharmacode
Pharmacode
Pharmacode, also known as Pharmaceutical Binary Code, is a barcode standard, used in the pharmaceutical industry as a packing control system. It is designed to be readable despite printing errors...

 
Neither Two Pharmaceutical packaging (no international standard available)
Plessey
Plessey Code
Plessey Code is a 1D linear barcode symbology based on pulse width modulation, developed in 1971 by The Plessey Company plc, a British-based company. It is one of the first barcode symbology, and is still used in some rare libraries and for shelf tags in retail stores, in part as a solution to...

 
Continuous Two Catalogs, store shelves, inventory (no international standard available)
PLANET
Postal Alpha Numeric Encoding Technique
The Postal Alpha Numeric Encoding Technique barcode is used by the United States Postal Service to identify and track pieces of mail during delivery - the Post Office's "CONFIRM" services.The PLANET barcode is either 12 or 14 digits long...

 
Continuous Tall/short United States Postal Service (no international standard available)
POSTNET
POSTNET
POSTNET is a barcode symbology that was used by the United States Postal Service to assist in directing mail. The ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code is encoded in half- and full-height bars...

 
Continuous Tall/short United States Postal Service (no international standard available)
Intelligent Mail barcode
Intelligent Mail Barcode
The Intelligent Mail Barcode is a 65-bar code for use on mail in the United States. The term “Intelligent Mail” refers to services offered by the United States Postal Service for domestic mail delivery. is intended to provide greater information and functionality than its predecessors POSTNET and...

 
Continuous Tall/short United States Postal Service, replaces both POSTNET and PLANET symbols (formerly named OneCode)
MSI
MSI Barcode
MSI is a barcode symbology developed by the MSI Data Corporation, based on the original Plessey Code symbology. It is a continuous symbology that is not self-checking...

 
Continuous Two Used for warehouse shelves and inventory
PostBar
PostBar
PostBar, also known as CPC 4-State, is the black-ink barcode system used by Canada Post in its automated mail sorting and delivery operations. It is similar to other 4 State barcode systems used by Australia Post and the United Kingdom's Royal Mail , but uses an obscured structure and encoding...

 
Discrete Many Canadian Post office
RM4SCC
RM4SCC
RM4SCC is the name of the barcode symbology used by the Royal Mail for its Cleanmail service. It enables UK postcodes as well as Delivery Point Suffixes to be easily read by a machine at high speed....

 / KIX
Continuous Tall/short Royal Mail / Royal TPG Post
JAN
Japan Article Number
Japanese Article Number is a barcode standard compatible with EAN.In January 2001 the manufacturer code changed to 7 digits for new companies.-External links:* *http://www.sensorcentral.com/barcode/barcode03.php...

 
Continuous Many Used in Japan, similar and compatible with EAN-13 (ISO/IEC 15420)
Telepen
Telepen
Telepen is a name of a barcode symbology designed in 1972 in the UK to express all 128 ASCII characters without using shift characters for code switching, unlike Code 128, while only using two different widths for bars and spaces...

 
Continuous Two Libraries (UK)

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.
SymbologyNotes
3-DI Developed by Lynn Ltd.
ArrayTag From ArrayTech Systems.
Aztec Code
Aztec Code
Aztec Code is a type of 2D barcode invented by Andrew Longacre, Jr. and Robert Hussey in 1995. The code was published by AIM, Inc. in 1997. Although the Aztec code is patented, it has been released to the public domain.- Encoding :...

Designed by Andrew Longacre at Welch Allyn (now Honeywell Scanning and Mobility). Public domain. – International Standard ISO/IEC 24778
Small Aztec Code Space-saving version of Aztec code.
Chromatic Alphabet  an artistic proposal by C. C. Elian; divides the visible spectrum into 26 different wavelengths – hue
Hue
Hue is one of the main properties of a color, defined technically , as "the degree to which a stimulus can be describedas similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow,"...

s.
Codablock Stacked 1D barcodes.
Code 1 Public domain. Code 1 is currently used in the health care industry for medicine labels and the recycling industry to encode container content for sorting.
Code 16K Based on 1D Code 128.
Code 49 Stacked 1D barcodes from Intermec Corp.
ColorCode ColorZip developed colour barcodes that can be read by camera phones from TV screens; mainly used in Korea.
Compact Matrix Code From Syscan Group, Inc.
CP Code From CP Tron, Inc.
CyberCode
CyberCode
CyberCode is a visual tagging system based on a 2D barcode technology. CyberCode tags can be recognized by the low-cost CMOS or CCD cameras found in more and more mobile devices, and it can also be used to determine the 3D position of the tagged object as well as its ID number.A CyberCode tag is a...

From Sony.
d-touch readable when printed on deformable gloves and stretched and distorted
DataGlyphs From Palo Alto Research Center (also termed Xerox PARC).
Data Matrix
Data Matrix
A Data Matrix code is a two-dimensional matrix barcode consisting of black and white "cells" or modules arranged in either a square or rectangular pattern. The information to be encoded can be text or raw data. Usual data size is from a few bytes up to 1556 bytes. The length of the encoded data...

From Microscan Systems
Microscan Systems
Microscan Systems, Inc. is a manufacturer of precision data acquisition and control solutions for automation and OEM applications. Founded in 1982, Microscan provides systems for ID tracking, traceability and inspection...

, formerly RVSI Acuity CiMatrix/Siemens. Public domain. Increasingly used throughout the United States. Single segment Data Matrix is also termed Semacode
Semacode
Semacode is a software company based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It is also this company's trade name for machine-readable ISO/IEC 16022 data matrix symbols, a type of barcode resembling a crossword puzzle, which encode Internet URLs....

 – Standard: ISO/IEC 16022.
Datastrip Code From Datastrip, Inc.
Dot Code A Designed for the unique identification of items.
EZcode
EZcode
A EZcode is a matrix code created by ETH Zurich and was exclusively licensed to in 2006. It is a 2-dimensional code that was created and designed specifically for mobile camera phones because of its simplicity compared to other matrix codes...

Designed for decoding by cameraphones.
Grid Matrix Code From Syscan Group, Inc.
High Capacity Color Barcode
High Capacity Color Barcode
High Capacity Color Barcode is the name coined by Microsoft for its technology of encoding data in a 2D "barcode" using clusters of colored triangles instead of the square pixels traditionally associated with 2D barcodes. Data density is increased by using a palette of 4 or 8 colors for the...

Developed by Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

; licensed by ISAN-IA.
HueCode From Robot Design Associates. Uses greyscale or colour.
INTACTA.CODE From INTACTA Technologies, Inc.
InterCode From Iconlab, Inc. The standard 2D barcode in South Korea. All 3 South Korean mobile carriers put the scanner program of this code into their handsets to access mobile internet, as a default embedded program.
JAGTAG From JAGTAG, Inc. Optimized for use with mobile device cameras.
MaxiCode
MaxiCode
MaxiCode is a public domain, machine-readable symbol system originally created and used by United Parcel Service. Suitable for tracking and managing the shipment of packages, it resembles a barcode, but uses dots arranged in a hexagonal grid instead of bars...

Used by United Parcel Service
United Parcel Service
United Parcel Service, Inc. , typically referred to by the acronym UPS, is a package delivery company. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States, UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the...

. Now Public Domain
mCode Developed by Nextcode Corporation specifically for camera phone scanning applications. Designed to enable advanced cell mobile applications with standard camera phones.
MiniCode From Omniplanar, Inc.
MicroPDF417 Facilitates codes too small to be used in PDF417.
MMCC
Mobile Multi-Coloured Composite
A mobile multi-coloured composite is a two dimensional coloured barcode designed to distribute media via traditional print media, without the need for network connectivity. MMCC barcodes are designed to be scanned with ordinary camera-phones .MMCC is being developed at Edith Cowan University by...

Designed to disseminate high capacity mobile phone content via existing colour print and electronic media, without the need for network connectivity
Nintendo e-Reader#Dot code Developed by Olympus Corporation
Olympus Corporation
is a Japan-based manufacturer of optics and reprography products. Olympus was established on 12 October 1919, initially specializing in microscope and thermometer businesses. Its global headquarters are in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, while its USA operations are based in Center Valley, Pennsylvania,...

 to store songs, images, and mini-games for Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...

 on Pokémon trading cards.
Optar Developed by Twibright Labs and published as free software. Aims at maximum data storage density, for storing data on paper. 200 kB per A4 page with laser printer.
PaperDisk High density code, used both for data heavy applications (10 K – 1 MB) and camera phones (50+ bits). Developed and patented by Cobblestone Software.
PDF417
PDF417
PDF417 is a stacked linear barcode symbol format used in a variety of applications, primarily transport, identification cards, and inventory management. PDF stands for Portable Data File. The 417 signifies that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and spaces, and that each pattern is 17...

Originated by Symbol Technologies
Symbol Technologies
Symbol Technologies is a manufacturer and worldwide supplier of mobile data capture and delivery equipment. The company specializes in barcode scanners, mobile computers, RFID systems and Wireless LAN infrastructure. Symbol Technologies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola, and headquartered in...

. Public Domain.
PDMark Developed by Ardaco.
QR Code
QR Code
A QR code is a type of matrix barcode first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white...

Initially developed, patented and owned by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave for car parts management; now public domain. Can encode Japanese Kanji and Kana characters, music, images, URLs, emails. De facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 standard for Japanese cell phones. Also used with BlackBerry
BlackBerry
BlackBerry is a line of mobile email and smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion since 1999.BlackBerry devices are smartphones, designed to function as personal digital assistants, portable media players, internet browsers, gaming devices, and much more...

 Messenger to pickup contacts rather than using a PIN code. These codes are also used frequently for Android phones. – International Standard : ISO/IEC 18004
QuickMark Code From SimpleAct Inc.
Secure Seal Used in signature blocks of checks from the United States Treasury.
SmartCode From InfoImaging Technologies.
Snowflake Code From Marconi Data Systems, Inc.
ShotCode
ShotCode
ShotCode is a circular barcode created by High Energy Magic of Cambridge University. It uses a dartboard-like circle, with a bullseye in the centre and datacircles surrounding it...

Circular barcodes for camera phone
Camera phone
A camera phone is a mobile phone which is able to capture still photographs . Since early in the 21st century the majority of mobile phones in use are camera phones....

s by OP3. Originally from High Energy Magic Ltd in name Spotcode. Before that probably termed TRIPCode.
SPARQCode
SPARQCode
A SPARQCode is a matrix code encoding standard that is based on the physical QR Code definition created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave.- Overview :...

QR Code encoding standard from MSKYNET, Inc.
SuperCode Public domain.
Trillcode From Lark Computers. Designed to work with mobile device's camera or webcam PC. Can encode a variety of "actions".
UltraCode Black-and-white & colour versions. Public domain. Invented by Jeffrey Kaufman and Clive Hohberger.
UnisCode also called "Beijing U Code"; a colour 2D barcode developed by Chinese company UNIS
VeriCode, VSCode From Veritec, Inc.
WaterCode High-density 2D Barcode(440 Bytes/cm2) From MarkAny Inc.

In popular culture


In architecture, a building in Lingang New City
Lingang New City
Lingang New City is a planned city being built since 2003. It shall be finished in 2020. Localized in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China.It was designed by the German architects Gerkan, Marg and Partners.-Location:...

 by German architects Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Gerkan, Marg and Partners is an architectural company based in Hamburg, Germany. The company was founded in 1965, and now has 400 employees in 10 offices.-Awards:...

 incorporates a barcode design, as does a shopping mall called Shtrikh-kod (the Russian for barcode) in Narodnaya ulitsa ("People's Street") in the Nevskiy district of St. Petersburg, Russia.

In media, the National Film Board of Canada
National Film Board of Canada
The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's twelve-time Academy Award-winning public film producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary, animation, alternative drama and digital media productions...

 and ARTE France launched a web documentary
Web documentary
A web documentary, interactive documentary or multimedia documentary is a documentary production that differs from the more traditional forms—video, audio, photographic—by applying a full complement of multimedia tools...

 entitled Barcode.tv, which allows users to view films about everyday objects by scanning the product's barcode with their iPhone
IPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

 camera.

See also

  • Automated identification and data capture
    Automated identification and data capture
    Automatic Identification and Data Capture refers to the methods of automatically identifying objects, collecting data about them, and entering that data directly into computer systems...

     (AIDC)
  • Barcode printer
    Barcode printer
    A barcode printer is a computer peripheral for printing barcode labels or tags that can be attached to physical objects. Barcode printers are commonly used to label cartons before shipment, or to label retail items with UPCs or EANs....

  • Barcode scanner
  • Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP)
  • Code (disambiguation)
    Code (disambiguation)
    A code is a rule for converting a piece of information into another object or action, not necessarily of the same sort.Code may also refer to:- Science and technology :*Code , device for hiding the meaning of a message*Code density...

  • European Article Numbering-Uniform Code Council
    European Article Numbering-Uniform Code Council
    EAN International-Uniform Code Council was a supply chain standards family name, formally the EAN.UCC System, that included product barcodes which are printed on the great majority of products available in stores worldwide and electronic commerce standards.EAN International was the global office...

  • Global Trade Item Number
    Global Trade Item Number
    Global Trade Item Number is an identifier for trade items developed by GS1...

  • Identifier
    Identifier
    An identifier is a name that identifies either a unique object or a unique class of objects, where the "object" or class may be an idea, physical [countable] object , or physical [noncountable] substance...

  • Inventory control system
    Inventory control system
    An inventory control system is a process for managing and locating objects or materials. In common usage, the term may also refer to just the software components......

  • ISBN
  • Physical world hyperlinks
  • Semacode
    Semacode
    Semacode is a software company based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It is also this company's trade name for machine-readable ISO/IEC 16022 data matrix symbols, a type of barcode resembling a crossword puzzle, which encode Internet URLs....

  • Sms barcode
    Sms barcode
    SMS Barcode is an integration between barcode and mobile SMS service. Built on mobile picture message, the technology allows sending barcode, supports both 1D and 2D barcode symbologies, to the mobile unit...

  • SPARQCode
    SPARQCode
    A SPARQCode is a matrix code encoding standard that is based on the physical QR Code definition created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave.- Overview :...