National Barcode Day commemorates more than 40 years of efficiency and accuracy that began on June 26, 1974, when a clerk scanned a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, OH. On that day, the barcode system invented by George Lauer, an IBM engineer, began to change the world.
Since then, barcodes have been revolutionizing industries all over the world. Barcodes, also known as UPC, 1 Dimensional (1D) codes, contain data that help businesses and organizations do their jobs more easily. A more modern version of the barcode is called a QR code, or a 2 dimensional (2D) code. The QR code contains even more data than the 1D code.
Barcodes contain a wealth of information, including pricing, product, dates, manufacturer, and shipping. They are ideal for tracking inventory and sales, but they do so much more than that. Almost every industry uses barcodes, and they likely make your life easier without you even knowing it. Where can you find barcodes besides retail products?
- VINs – Tracking a car’s history became easier when a barcode was added to the VIN.
- Libraries – Barcodes track books, videos, periodicals, resources in and out of the library.
- Logistics – Every major shipper uses barcodes to track shipments and deliver your orders.
- Healthcare – Barcodes help keep patient care more streamlined and records at the provider’s fingertips.
- Agriculture – Farmers use barcodes to track harvests and livestock.
Imagine how different our lives would be without these unobtrusive black and white bars and that satisfying beep every time we scan a product, delivery, or file. It is certainly a technology that will be around for a long time, simplifying our lives. That’s another reason to celebrate National Barcode Day!