Barcode History

Barcode technology first appeared in the 20th century, 40 years. At that time the United States two engineers with bar code information, and in 1949 the world's first bar code patent. The earliest bar code consists of several black and white concentric circles, is vividly called bull-eye bar code.

Wrigley's chewing gum is the first product which used bar codes, Barcode technology

was first invented in the twenties of the twentieth century, in the Westinghouse laboratory.



An eccentric inventors John Kermode, wanted to automate the sorting of postal documents, at that time, and every conceivable use of electronic technology was a novelty.

His idea is to put a barcode label on the envelope, the barcode information is the address of the recipient, like today's zip code.

For this purpose, John Kermode invented the earliest bar code identification, it is very simple (This method is called the module comparison method), namely a "bar" that the number "1", two "bars" that the number "2 ", And so on. He then invented a bar code reading device consisting of a basic element: a scanner (capable of emitting light and receiving reflected light), a method of measuring the reflected signal strip and the null, that is, the edge locating coil, and using the measured results Method, i.e., a decoder.


John Kermode's scanners used the newly invented photocells to collect reflected light. "Empty" reflection is a strong signal, "Article" reflected back is a weak signal. Unlike today's high-speed electronic components, John Kermode uses magnetic coils to measure "stripes" and "voids". Just as a child connects the wire to the battery and wraps it around a nail. A coil with an iron core draws a switch when it receives an "empty" signal, and when it receives a "bar" signal, it releases the switch and turns on the circuit. As a result, the earliest bar code readers are noisy. The switch is controlled by a series of relays, "on" and "off" depending on the number of "bars" printed on the envelope. In this way, barcodes are used to sort the letters directly. Shortly thereafter, Douglas Young, a collaborator at John Kermode, made some improvements based on the Kermode code.


Kermode's barcode contains very less information, and it is difficult to encode more than ten different codes. The Douglas Young's barcode uses fewer bars, but utilizes an empty size change between strips, as today's UPC bar code symbols use four different bar sizes. The new bar code symbol can be in the same size space for a hundred different regions to be encoded, while the Kermode's barcode can only be encoded in 10 different regions.


Until 1949 in the patent literature that for the first time there was an omnibearing bar code symbology invented by Norm Woodland and Bernard Silver, in the prior patent literature There is no record of bar code technology, there is no precedent for practical application. The idea of Norm Woodland and Bernard Silver is to use the vertical "strips" and "hollows" of Kermode and Douglas Young and bend them into rings, much like archery targets. So that the scanner can decode the bar code symbol by scanning the center of the figure regardless of the orientation of the bar code symbol direction.


In a process of continuous improvement using the patented technology, a science fiction writer,  Isaac Azimov, in his book Naked Sun, Using the new method of information coding to achieve automatic identification of the case. At the time, people felt that the bar code symbol in the book looked like a checkered checkerboard, but today's bar code professionals will immediately realize that this is a two-dimensional matrix bar code symbol. Although this bar code symbol has no orientation, positioning and timing, it is clear that it represents digital coding of high information density.


Until 1970 Iterface Mechanisms developed the "two-dimensional code", the price for sale only two-dimensional matrix bar code printing and reading equipment. When two-dimensional matrix bar code for the newspaper publishing process automation. Two-dimensional matrix bar code printed on the tape, scanned by today's one-dimensional CCD scanner read. CCD light emitted on the tape, each photocell aligned paper tape in different areas. Each photocell according to the bar code on the tape to print a different pattern, combined to produce a high density information pattern. In this way, a single character can be printed in the same size space as a single bar in the early Komond code. Timing information is also included, so the whole process is reasonable. When the first system to enter the market, including printing and reading equipment, including a full set of equipment to about 5000 dollars.

Shortly, with the continuous development of LEDs (light emitting diodes), microprocessors and laser diodes, a new explosion of symbol (symbolic) and its applications was called "bar code industry". Few companies or individuals find bar code technology that does not come into direct contact with the fast and accurate bar code technology today. As technological advances and developments in this area are very rapid, and more and more applications are being developed every day, bar codes will be as popular as bulbs and semiconductors for a long time, and will make every one of us live Have become more relaxed and convenient.


With the rapid expansion of retail and consumer markets and development, but also to promote the growth of China's bar code label business. Because more and more places need to use labels and bar codes. In fact, as early as the 1970s, bar code has been in the global retail industry has been a small range of applications, and now, bar code and automatic identification systems and data acquisition technology is still in the global play a vital role.


In fact, on a global scale, the number of bar code scans required every day has exceeded 100 million times, and its scope of application also covers various fields and industries, including logistics, warehousing, library, bank, pos cash register system, , Retail goods, clothing, food services and high-tech electronic products, and so on, and is still in every day in a number of new projects continue to use bar code applications. With the continuous development of the market, we have enough confidence that the bar code will certainly promote us to experience a better quality of life and can save our valuable time.


For example, in the logistics industry, the classification of goods in logistics, the allocation of location, location inquiries, access to library information, inventory access, product inquiries, etc., if it is done with human effort, not only a waste of time, Financial resources, but also often accompanied by a very large error rate, for most businesses and the logistics industry's own development has brought a lot of problems, it can be said that there is no bar code logistics process will be how messy, its The consequences are often unimaginable. The bar code technology on the advantages of the logistics industry is also obvious, both accurate management, functional and practical. For most of the modern warehouse management needs can be met. Easy to operate and maintain, do not bother, the warehouse administrator after a simple training can quickly induction for operation. But also greatly reduce the high rate of human error. The type of cumbersome work instantly annoying as easy to query the time of the goods is particularly convenient, no longer need to spend a lot of manpower to search a wide range of out of the purchase documents, just a sweep on the computer gently, the required cargo model , Dealers, into the shipping date, managers and other specific details can be displayed, and can print out. And this part of the data can also be backed up, not because of death or computer virus and worry about the loss of data. After all, human management system.

At present, the international widely used types of bar code products have EA NUPC bar code, used in the world only to identify a commodity. Supermarkets, the most common is that the bar code Code39 code can represent numbers and letters, the most widely used management field ITF25 code logistics management more Codebar code for medical, the field of Code93 Code, Code128 code.

Among them, EA N code is widely used in the world of commodity bar code, EDI has become the basis of electronic data; UPC code is mainly used in the United States and Canada; various types of bar code applications, Code39 code can be used because of its common numbers and letters Codebar code is also widely used in the business of blood banks, libraries and photo galleries, and is widely used in internal management of various industries.

In addition to the above-mentioned one-dimensional bar code, the two-dimensional bar code has also been in the rapid development and find applications in many fields.


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>> Barcode Since their invention more than 50 years ago, barcode have been enablers for accurate data capture, the rapid movement of goods, and all types of automation. Whether at the Point-of-Sale, in a hospital, or in a manufacturing environment these little black and white images deliver incredible value.

>> There are many different bar code symbologies, or languages. Each symbology has its own rules for encoding characters (e.g., letter, number, punctuation), printing, decoding requirements, and error checking.

>> Barcode symbologies differ both in the way they represent data and in the type of data they can encode: some encode numbers; others encode numbers, letters, and a few punctuation characters; still others offer encodation of the 128 or 256 ASCII character sets. Recently unveiled symbologies include options to encode characters in any language as well as specialized data types.

>> Barcode in common use are covered by international standards. International standards also cover print quality measurements and equipment.

Bar code technology standards define:

*** Rules for representing data in an optically readable format,

*** Rules and techniques for printing or marking,

*** Reading and decoding techniques,

*** Rules for measuring the quality of printed/marked symbols