Bar code and laser scanner celebrate 35th anniversary

Motorola offered some bar code technology reflections, since Symbol Technologies, now a part of Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions, was founded, in part, by Dr. Jerome Swartz, the inventor of the laser scanning device for use with bar codes.


Motorola Symbol DS3400 Series of rugged scanners

Motorola Symbol DS3400 Series of rugged scanners brings high performance data capture to harsh industrial environments. Using digital imaging technology, this family of scanners quickly and accurately captures 1D and 2D bar codes, images and direct part marks.

Bar code met the laser scanner on Friday, June 26, at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio, according to Motorola. With the 35th anniversary, Motorola offered some bar code technology relections, since Symbol Technologies, now a part of Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions, was founded, in part, by Dr. Jerome Swartz, the inventor of the laser scanning device for use with bar codes.

Motorola says:

- Without the bar code / laser scanner partnership, we'd have long lines at registers and tolls, (even more) lost baggage at the airport, and a lot of waiting for a package that may never arrive.

- Before the practical integration of bar codes and laser scanners, each company had its way of designating products, using a variety of letters, numbers or no codes at all.

- Typical error rate for human data entry is 1 error per 300 characters; with barcode scanners, the error rate can be as good as 1 error in 36 trillion characters.

- Use of the bar code ultimately resulted in significant economic and productivity gains for shoppers, retailers and manufacturers, with estimated cost savings of $17 billion in the grocery sector alone (according to GS1 US).

- UPC bar codes are scanned more than 10 billion times a day in applications spanning more than 25 industries.

- It costs about $0.005 to implement a barcode.

- Since the development of the laser scanner, Motorola has been the leading industry driver of innovation and the global adoption of bar codes throughout retail history, the company says. Enterprise Mobility Solutions group of Motorola encourages you to pay tribute to the lasting relationship of the scanner and the bar code .

Motorola Symbol DS3400 Series of rugged scanners, bar code anniversary

GS1 US, the developer and administrator of the Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) bar code, provide more bar code history, explaining that product coding isn't standing still:

- Newest bar code, GS1 DataBar, can be found increasingly on coupons and loose produce, such as apples, pears, and tomatoes. Jan. 1, 2010, is its "sunrise date," supermarkets will begin scanning and processing the GS1 DataBar, which can be configured in different formats to fit a smaller space or carry additional information, such as "best before" or expiration dates, or lot numbers.

- GS1 Data Matrix, a bar code that resembles a random-patterned checkerboard, holds large amounts of data in a relatively small space as compared to traditional linear barcodes, and is becoming increasingly popular for a wide range of applications including aerospace, pharmaceutical, and medical-device manufacturing.

- Electronic Product Code (EPC) carries information similar to that within a bar code, but is read by radio frequency identification (RFID) technology without a direct sight line, rather than being scanned. The EPC also can carry and transmit additional information. In the retail environment, EPC can enable a checkout process that is nearly instantaneous.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, MBT with information from Motorola and GS1.

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