While purchasing anything from market, whether it is laptop or any device or any packet food item, you must have noticed some black and white vertical lines. So, what is it? I know you will say barcode? But what else? What you know about barcode? How and why they are created and used? How it is being read? Why is there a barcode on every productt? All thanks to barcode technology that has made buying anything from books to grocery item to electronic gadgets to cosmetic items so easier and quicker.
If you don’t know anything about then this article would help you to find out everything about barcode.
Barcode and its Meaning
The small images of lines and spaces that you might have seen in any packaged item or any particular product is nothing but bar code and called as barcode. The barcode is affixed to identification cards, retail store items in order to identify the particular item, number, location or person.
Why barcode are used for?
If you want to know why barcode are used as they are millions of items from same brand, how one would keep track and distinguish. Well, think it as simple. If you are shop owner and you have to keep track of all the items that you are selling and what are in stocks and what are not. So, you have to make sure whatever customers are buying must in stocks. You could write down everything on paper what people are purchasing and then simply use them to reorder your stock and no doubt it will work if you are running small shop.
Think of big picture now, you are owner of any mall or mega store, you can’t keep track all the items just by writing it down. You need to get another easier method and that is why barcode is used and barcode scanner to scan the barcode of every item that has been purchased.
Barcode technology not only lets you organize all items in shop but also lets you know if any item has been stolen; it just keep track of all track products, prices and obviously stock levels that it keeps everything centralized in computer system.
How a barcode looks like?
You must see the barcode in most packaged items that uses UPC-A code format. So, what that format is? UPC-A code format is 12 digits long which itself refers to as GTIN, Global Trade Item Number. It consists of UPC company prefix and the number, which uniquely identifies the product.
The company prefix that I just explained represents the manufactures if all products and EDI, Electronic Data Exchange applications. Next is called Reference Number.
How barcode is read?
To read a barcode, barcode reader is used which uses a laser beam that specifies the lines and space thickness that comes in particular barcode. Any barcode consist of five items includes quiet zone, start character, data character, stop character and another quiet zone.
Barcode readers are used in supermarket. Barcode identifies any item and used to take inventory in retail stores, at the time of books from library in order to track and shipping the particular product. Since there is no particular barcode but there are several different barcode standards which are used by different users according to industries and geographical needs.
How barcode scanners work?
Barcode are simple and on and off binary pattern that can be read through barcode scanner. It has become extremely easy to read and feed information in computer terminal to identify the item from the products database.
Step#1. First, product is being scanned through its unique barcode by heading shines LED or laser light onto barcode.
Step#2. Since barcode is consist of black and white zig zag lines, so light is reflected back into a photoelectric cell. As white color area reflects most light on the other hand black color area reflects least.
Step#3. As soon as, the barcode passed over the scanner, pattern is generated according to black and white stripes i.e off and on
Step#4. There is an electronic circuit attached to scanner that converts this pulses into digital form like 0’s and 1’s.
Step#5. Then these binary digits are end to computer and code detection is done.
In this way, detection of barcode is done through barcode scanner machines that you must noticed in shopping malls.