January 7, 2013
The most common retail barcodes which you come across in South Africa are the 13-digit EAN barcode (European Article Number – now known as International Article Number) and the 12-digit UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode which originates from the United States. You may however have noticed barcodes such as the one on the left which only has 8 digits – most likely on smaller items such as cigarettes or confectionary. So what is the difference between them and which should you use?
All EAN and UPC retail barcodes in use today are based on the original UPC barcode symbology which was developed in the US in the early 1970’s by George Laurer. These two systems are the only accepted retail barcodes as per GS1 standards. The UPC barcodes...
November 14, 2012
The arrival of smartphones with advanced operating systems such as the Android and iOS systems has allowed any user to download their own barcode scanner application – and while this is great for the average user, concerns have been raised over the potential abuse of the applications by terrorists. Genuine threat or just a conspiracy theory? We investigate!
We all know about the stringent security checks implemented at airports in the US after 9-11, and the headache caused to frequent fliers as a result! In an effort to streamline the process slightly the programme ‘PreCheck’ was implemented – which basically allows random frequent fliers to be selected for ‘expedited screening’ on domestic flights. Fliers selected for these less stringent checks are issued with a boarding pass which features a...
November 2, 2012
Have you written or are you planning to write a book which you intend to sell? Then you will need to obtain an ISBN – or International Standard Book Number – to display on your publication. This allows the bookshops and libraries (and your publisher if you are not self-publishing) to locate and keep stock of how many copies are available – just like a retail barcode. We’ve put together an easy guide to get your ISBN and its corresponding barcode in 5 simple steps.
Before we begin, let’s have a look at what an ISBN is and where they originated. Basically an ISBN is a 13-digit number which...
The evolution of the modern barcode has a surprisingly complex and lengthy history – varying from original 1D formats and later 2D, which ranged from systems using rectangles, dot systems and even hexagons! The modern UPC (Universal Product Code) which is used on today’s barcodes was invented in 1973 by George Laurer – an engineer for IBM with 25 patents to his name – but the concept dates all the way back to 1948. Let’s take a brief look at their development.
In 1948 Bernard Silver, a student at the Drexel Institute of Technology (Philadelphia) overheard a discussion between the president of the local food chain and one of the deans about researching a system which would enable them to automatically read product info at checkout – a system we now of...
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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