FUTURE OF BAR CODES
June 12, 2018
June 12, 2018
Hands Free coding of products
Since their inception in the early 1970s, bar codes have come a long way.
Almost every product on the market today has a bar code printed on it. The result has been faster check-out at the cash register, inventory control for retailers and manufacturers, and data tracking to better analyze what customers love (and buy).
Basically, barcodes act as product “fingerprints,” which are comprised of machine-readable vertical bars with binary codes stored in them.
In recent years, developers have taken barcode scanning to the next level with barcode scanning apps. With the innovation of Google Glass and other wearable devices, these apps are presenting countless opportunities for breakthroughs across verticals. They will not only allow individuals to interact with their purchases with a simple verbal cue or a blink of an eye, they can also redefine the way people work.
How Bar Code Scanning via Google Glass Works
Since the introduction of Google Glass, app developers have been hard at work developing innovative applications for the wearable device. From law enforcement use to apps that allow an individual to control the functions of an electric car, the software being created for Google Glass is truly cutting-edge. There are even Google Glass apps that are sure to win plenty of consumers’ hearts: bar code scanning apps.
The Google team, in a talk for SXSW developers, revealed wearable device features which included a touch pad and a voice command functionality. This will make it possible for bar code scanning apps to include verbal commands in their system for a hands-free scanning experience.
Scandit’s price comparison app for Google Glass users is a good example of a hands-free bar code scanning application. By simply tapping on the device’s side or saying “scan,” Glass will scan the product’s bar code and provide a timeline card with the product’s pricing data and detailed information. In terms of applications for enterprises, the app enables Glass-clad employees to manage inventory and order picking hands free by simply looking at the product’s bar code and saying the quantity aloud.
RedLaser, a classic bar code scanning app for smartphones, also introduced a new frontier for bar code scanning via Google Glass. Similar to the bar code scanner from Scandit, this app plugs into the voice command system of the wearable computer. When the user says, “Okay Glass, scan bar code,” the device’s camera will fire up, and display a viewfinder. The user then centers the bar code in the viewfinder, and the scanner decodes it. This app also enables voice searches if the product’s bar code is read incorrectly or is not in range. What’s more, RedLaser for Glass allows users to locate and navigate to nearby stores, as well as purchase online with the help of a separate portable device.
Bar code scanning through the use of wearable computers will truly change how consumers shop. Imagine scanning bar codes from a device resting on your head. There is no doubt that bar code scanning apps, along with the help of wearable computing devices like Google Glass, will presented consumers an overwhelming opportunity for finding and comparing great products.
Other Bar code Technology Breakthroughs Coming Soon
The invention of 2D bar codes (QR codes) is probably the biggest innovation in bar code technology yet. Coupled with camera-based image readers, 2D bar codes have opened doors for bar code technology developers to build solutions and devices tailored to specific industries.
In the healthcare industry, bar codes have already been used for tracking medical equipment, patient information, and medications. As the population ages, a need for tracking solutions increases. Bar code technology keeps pace by providing disinfectant-ready hardware for bar code printing and scanning. Besides lowering the risk of human error and the spread of disease, bar code technology and hardware offers solutions for patient validation, inventory management, and tracking materials.
Meanwhile, the use of barcodes in manufacturing adopts an inventory control system which is not only real-time, but also wireless. In retail, barcode technology is used to track product information, coupons, special offers, and other point-of-sale materials. Consumers also benefit from real time product comparisons with the use of tablets and smartphones. Customers expect deals and price comparisons at their fingertips when shopping, and the innovation of barcode scanning makes that possible.
For small businesses, a bar code on a customer’s ID can help businesses collect information from their customers for age verification purposes. This is especially helpful for businesses with age restrictions to avoid legal problems. The use of advanced bar code technology also diminishes the need for printed tickets, minimizing the risk of ticket fraud.
Bar code Scanning and the Future
With the recent trends of continuous bar code breakthroughs, the future remains bright. From the innovative bar code scanners for iOS and Android mobile devices to the lauded bar code apps for Google Glass, today is indeed an exciting time for bar code scanner manufacturers, retail businesses, and consumers alike.
Source – Cap Terra