Barcodes in Unexpected Places


The first one-dimensional barcode was scanned in 1974 at a Marsh supermarket in Ohio, America, placed in the first barcode retail product. Since then, barcode technology and the use of barcodes have gone far beyond the first scan.

Now, more complicated barcode types have been created. These days, two-dimensional codes have become very popular in our modern society. The codes have spread to all sectors of the business and are appearing in places where nothing is expected.

We can now use codes in many different and innovative ways to make our lives easier and more efficient.

Barcode on a product label

Types of barcodes

There are two main types of barcodes. Barcodes started out as very simple one-dimensional codes. These consisted of a rectangular image with black lines on a white background.

The most popular of these simple codes are the UPC and EAN-13 codes. The former is native and used primarily in the United States, and the latter is used primarily in other parts of the world. They are used in the retail sector to control the existence from the moment of the receipt of the products until the moment in which it is sold to the final consumer. They have made the retail process much smoother and more efficient, saving you time and money.

Other one-dimensional codes include ITF-14 codes, which are only used when you need to supply bulk products. In addition, you also get EAN-8 codes. This code is simply a shorter version of the EAN-13 code. Used for especially small products such as pens or paintbrushes.

Barcode technology has come a long way since 1974 and we now have the most complex two-dimensional codes. They are square images with black shapes on a white background. The important thing to keep in mind about these codes is that they are able to store information such as a website address and can be scanned by a smartphone. They are becoming more and more popular in today’s world.

The most common two-dimensional code is the Rapid Response Code (QR). This QR code has led to the development of various payment applications such as Snapscan and Zapper. QR codes are also being used in business marketing.

Bar codes in hospitals

Bar codes are now being used in hospitals around the world. They are essential to ensure that the entire care process, from admission to discharge of the patient, is as fluid and efficient as possible.

When a patient is admitted, they are given a wristband with a QR code. When this code is scanned, it will link the caregiver with all the information they need to know about that particular patient, including the patient’s medical condition, dietary requirements, contact information, and medication. This helps to improve communication between medical staff and ensure that the patient receives the highest quality care.

Codes are also used to control the dispensing of medications as well as the donation of blood to the blood bank. In this way, codes are being used to save lives and improve our overall health and well-being by making sure that no mistakes are made.

Ticket barcode
Photo credit: Martial artist Vo Vu / Pexels

Bar Codes in Tourism

Barcodes are being used to market tourist destinations, as well as events such as concerts and festivals. QR codes are being used on tickets to control concert tickets.

In addition, QR codes are used to provide visitors with all the information they need about the specific tourist destination they would like to visit. All the visitor has to do is scan the QR code at the entrance and it will connect to maps of the area, restaurants or other shops that are available, local fauna or flora. This helps visitors get the most out of their tourist attraction.

Bar codes in conservation

Another innovative way to use codes is in the conservation sector. Exceptionally small codes are being used to track bees and discover as much information as we can in order to preserve their existence. If bees die, so will humanity.

Codes are also being used to control and manage sustainable forestry practices and ensure that our forests remain intact for future generations.

Barcodes in recycling

Bar codes are also used to encourage people to recycle. In some countries, a QR code is placed in the Recycle Bin. When the recycling service picks up the trash, it will scan the code, which will automatically add points to the customer’s account. These points can be redeemed as purchase vouchers or coupons.

Online discount code

Barcodes in shopping apps

QR codes are being used in various shopping applications. It works by downloading these apps to your smartphone and then scanning the product code to find all the information you need to know about this specific product. The information provided by specific applications includes nutritional ingredients, calories, possible allergens, ethical aspects of the product, as well as price comparisons between different stores.

These apps help consumers make informed decisions about which products to buy and where to buy them. Applications that use code include Fooducate, Myfitnesspal, Shopsavvy, GoodGuide, and Social Impact.

Bar codes in games

Barcodes are being used as inspiration for various video games. Two of the most popular barcode games are Scannerz and Barcode Beasties. In these games, players scan codes to create monsters that fight each other.

Building Shtrik Kod
Shtrikh Kod Building – Photo Credit: Web Urbanist

Barcodes in design

Bar codes have even entered the realm of interior design and architecture. Buildings are being designed around code images. The most famous example is the Shtrikh Kod building in St. Petersburg, Russia, which was built in 2007. Interior designers use codes as inspiration to create minimalist designs for homes. Even the furniture has been designed using clean black and white lines.

Bar codes have also entered the beauty industry. In these modern times, it is now possible to get a manicure or a pedicure with the rigid black lines of the codes. Barcode tattoos are also becoming more and more popular.

Bar codes have crept into every area of ​​our lives. They have improved the quality of our lives and become an inspiration for many business innovations. Buy Barcodes is very excited to be a part of this ever-evolving world of barcodes. Buy Barcodes is an official barcode provider that caters to local businesses in South Africa of all sizes. Contact them today and address all of your business barcode needs!



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