The machine readable image of lines of varying thicknesses which encodes a bookÕs isbn and which is printed on the back cover. When ÔreadÕ by electronic till equipment it plays a vital part in booksellersÕ epos systems for sales monitoring and stock control. Also used in distribution centres for various functions such as processing returns.
A barcode is an optical, machine-readable, representation of data relating to the object to which it is attached. Originally barcodes systematically represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or one-dimensional (1D) barcodes or symbologies. They also come in patterns of squares, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns within images termed two-dimensional (2D) matrix codes or symbologies. Although 2D systems use a variety of symbols, they are generally referred to as barcodes as well.
The first commercial barcode system was introduced in the mid-20th century, and barcodes are now widely used in many applications including retail packaging, tracking trade items in warehouses, and identifying patients in hospitals. There are a number of standards in use, the most common being Code 128, GS1-128, GS1 DataBar, ITF-14, UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8, EAN-13, and ISBN.
Barcodes have been used in many applications including:
Retail: The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode used in many point-of-sale (POS) systems in the United States and in other countries for tracking trade items in stores.
Warehousing: Many warehouses use barcodes to track inventory as it flows in and out.
Hospital patient ID: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States requires the use of patient identifiers, including a barcode, to help protect patient privacy and reduce medical errors.
Airline baggage: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed a barcode standard for baggage tagging.
Code 128 is a very high-density barcode symbology. It is used for alphanumeric or numeric-only barcodes. It can encode all 128 characters of ASCII and, by use of an extension character (FNC4), the Latin-1 characters defined in ISO/IEC 8859-1.
GS1-128 (formerly known as UCC/EAN-128) is a subset of Code 128 and is used extensively world-wide in shipping and packaging applications.
GS1 DataBar is a family of barcodes used to encode GS1 identifiers for trade items in retail applications.
ITF-14 is a 14 digit Inter