Being transparent about your carbon footprint has become a necessity in many business sectors in an effort to reduce our carbon emissions. Transparency and sustainability has since become a strong selling point and incentive for customers choosing one brand over another. But the essential question that businesses, and the fashion industry in particular have now been faced with, is how to effectively communicate the wealth of environmental and social data right at the store and in turn, influence their buying decision.
Smart phones have increasingly become an extension of Generation Y limbs. We’re addicted to information that can be accessed instantly when we’re in the comfort of our own homes. But what is it like to have information available on specific products...
RDIF tags operate on an ID system which utilises small radio frequency identification devices for identification and tracking purposes. Such technology has the ability to protect and revolutionise the customer experience as well as drastically improve the efficiency of a variety of company systems. Though this may sound like your typical barcoding system, RFID is a more advanced technology with possibilities that reach far beyond that of retail.
The basic components of a fully functional RFID system include tag chips, tag antennas, readers, and reader antennas, as well as reader control and application software. And increasingly, RFID tagging is used in supply chain and asset management as an alternative to barcoding. Though more expensive than standard barcode stickers, it is a much more durable means of tracking as the...
Many people, especially those not involved in the music industry, are unaware of what are called ISRC barcodes. And up until now, we at SA Barcodes weren’t necessarily aware of its existence either. The ISRC barcode is the International Standard Recording Code – performing as an identification system for sound and music video recordings.
The general rule of thumb is that each barcode number is unique, and the same applies for the ISRC. It identifies a specific recording, and each version of the recording gets assigned its own ISRC. The code gets burned into the recording. And once done, enables the user to track sales, radio station play and even physical venue play such as in clubs or bars. The code is also used by performance rights societies to track usage for paying performance royalties. ISRCs are increasingly being used...
Barcodes started out as just ideas and concepts in the 1950s and 60s, and since then have grown and developed to become a global necessity. Linear or one-dimensional barcodes were the first of its kind, and these are the ones we see on millions of products on a day to day basis which allow them to be scanned and monitored. Two-dimensional barcodes were then introduced, and while some of them offer the same principle of scanning items, these 2D barcodes can hold a significantly larger amount of data.
What the general public may be unaware of (until now) are 3D barcodes. Manufacturing companies were looking for a method to improve the marking, tracking and inventory of the different parts of their products while they were still in the manufacturing process. 1D and 2D barcode labels unfortunately proved impractical due to high temperatures in factories, causing...
December 9, 2013
As we know, barcodes are a useful in tracking inventory and monitoring our everyday retail products. Without them, errors in business would be frequent and many companies would blindly run at a loss each month. As useful and practical as these symbologies may be, creative figures have found ways to turn the mundane and practical into abstract and artistic. And you’d be surprise by the level of ingenuity involved.
American artist Scott Blake was renowned for his artwork collection which involved the reworking of, you guessed it, barcodes. Everyday pictures were recreated using thousands of tiny barcodes to reflect the image. Blake created over 30 portraits of pop culture icons using his barcode recreation methods – each in a way that was symbolic to their fame. Madonna’s image, for...
September 12, 2013
Self-checkout scanners are something users seem either to love or to loathe. Basically they are a system eliminating the need for a human cashier to input a customer’s purchases and take payment, although one assistant per four checkout lanes is required to supervise. It is estimated that over 400 000 self-checkout units will be in use by 2014. Let’s see how they work, and why they sometimes don’t. By Cat Robinson
What is self-checkout?
Basically the system allows consumers to scan the barcodes on the items they wish to purchase themselves, and make payment via card or cash. The scanned items are then placed into the ‘bagging area’, which is essentially a set of scales. Here the total weight of the items is...
Innovations in barcoding – how barcodes are changing and simplifying our lives, entertainment, and business – Part Two
August 22, 2013
Part two of our blog post on some of the most innovative and useful barcode technology. You can read Part One here. By Cat Robinson
Of course, one of the most popular uses of QR Codes is in advertising, and since they have self-correcting features, they can be customised a great deal and still scan. Here are some of the most inventive.Victoria’s Secret ad campaign:
This QR Code is very cleverly using our natural curiosity – come on, we’re...
Innovations in barcoding – how barcodes are changing and simplifying our lives, entertainment, and business: Part One
August 1, 2013
From a novel microwave that can scan the barcode of a food item and automatically set the correct cooking time and temperature, to barcode scanner apps on your smartphone that can recommend a more affordable or healthier product choice; barcodes have a much greater range of functions than just simple retail use. By Cat Robinson
Some useful (and often free) barcode scanner applications for smartphones and tablets: There are a huge array of these applications available that can save you time, money, and offer you ingredients information, amongst many other uses. Very excitingly for South Africa, a completely locally designed barcode scanner app, from price comparison site PriceCheck, recently beat out more than 100 000 entrants to win the International App of the Year at the BlackBerry Achievement...
The proposed adoption of a newer, more compact form of barcode known as GS1 databar has caused some of our clients concern about the changeover, and whether they will need to look at changing their barcodes. Fear not – you will still be able to use your EAN or UPC barcodes for a long while yet! We look at the technology and reasoning behind the new system here.
Databar codes have a number of potential benefits for retailers, customers and suppliers. The databar can hold much more information pertaining to expiry and sell-by dates, as well as batch numbers should a particular set of products need to be taken back in a recall scenario. They are also about half...
Barcode scanners and reading devices use a light source and what is known as a photo conductor or light sensor to decode printed barcodes. They also contain decoder circuitry which allows the data to be sent to an output port – such as a pc or point of sale system, where the code can be used to retrieve information on the item which has been scanned.
Barcode scanners and readers are utilised to read linear – or one-dimensional – barcodes. Due to the increasing popularity of 2D barcodes such as QR, Aztec and DataMatrix codes, specialised barcode imagers are also available. These can also be scanned with a cellphone camera (if the device has this functionality) or in smartphones via a...
Our blog researchers include local barcode experts from the SA Barcodes team: Cat Robinson and Andreas van Wyk
SA Barcodes Team
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