While there are plenty of new inventions developed in recent years like RFID tagging to track goods, the trusty barcode isn’t disappearing anytime soon. In fact, the technology being used with barcodes is expanding with many new innovations that are now available to consumers or business owners. In many ways, what’s old is new again in the case of barcodes.
In this article, we run through a few examples of newer technologies being applied to barcodes to make them more accessible, practical or usable in different real-world situations.
MatrixScan – For High-speed Scanning in a Hurry
You can imagine doing a stock check and needing to scan many boxes of products packed one on top of each other or all in a line. This type of barcode scanning is frequently needed today, but the majority of scanners just aren’t fast enough to keep up. This creates a time delay that slows down the whole process.
By using the MatrixScan technology from Scandit, it’s possible to run through many scans one after the after in quick succession. The coding in the custom smartphone app is adept enough to retain each scan individually to avoid losing any along the way. Neat stuff!
Augmented Reality – Information on the Fly
The use of augmented reality is only just starting to be seen in different warehouses and other facilities now. The idea is to scan a barcode and then see an overlay on the smartphone’s screen providing additional details about the product. This might be basic product details, reviews found online or other useful information.
It’s easy to imagine this tech being coded into an app for consumers to use when walking about a supermarket or technology store. Indeed, Amazon already has an app like this for their store. A quick scan could bring up useful product comparison information to help make a smart buying decision while still in the store. This isn’t far fetched either as 60 percent of shoppers already search for some online information when out shopping.
Website Integration – Making Barcodes More Accessible
Some technology companies have created software development kits (SDKs) for use with live websites.
This technology makes use of a webcam attached to the PC or laptop that lets the visitor scan a product’s barcode to pull up its product information. Similar technology can also be adapted to scan barcode information into third-party platforms like the Magento shopping cart system and SAP.
The idea with SDKs is to make it possible for computer users to access barcode information and load it into a website or software platform without the need for specialized scanning equipment. In some cases, a webcam takes a photo of the barcode and the SDK interprets it (like CCTV cameras taking photos of drivers’ license plates on the highway). Or a smartphone might be connected to the PC and be used as a temporary scanner using its built-in camera too.
As you can tell, there are interesting new approaches being applied to barcodes through clever software solutions. And surely they’ll be other ideas implemented in the new future too.