Just like any other technology, barcode has an interesting beginning. If you are planning to incorporate the use of barcode into your business, it is only practical to know how it started to better understand its use and the benefits that you can get from it.
The first barcode was a pattern of concentric rings
Barcode did not start as picket-fence pattern of bars and spaces. Invented by Bernard Silver and Norman Woodland, barcode started as a pattern of concentric rings, called Silver-Woodland barcode. Because of its concentric ring pattern, it allowed omni-directional scanning from an electromechanical device. Because of the problem of clarity of printing of the circular pattern and the feasibility of the scanning device, the progress in the creation of barcode was halted.
The railroad industry was the first to start using barcodes
To easily identify railroad cars, David Collins invented Kar Trak, a barcode-like pattern that is made of red and blue reflective stripes, to encode rail car’s company and car number. However, the concept was also halted because there was a problem with the encoding. There was too much dirt on railroad cars that it was difficult to scan.
The use of lasers in decoding barcodes.
David Collins did not give up on his idea and continue to polish his idea of barcodes and formed Computer Identics Corporation. Instead of working with heavy, heat-producing photomultipliers he used lasers to decode black and white barcodes.
The popularity of laser barcode scanning started.
With the success of the use of laser as a way of scanning barcodes, Computer Identics started identifying transmissions on a moving conveyor line. The research was noticed by the US Postal Service and used it to track vehicle movement in their facilities. Later on, pet food manufacturer, KalKan, considered using barcode as a cheap way to control their inventory.
Later on, the concept was tested by many food manufacturers and food chains. And soon the food industry decided to form the US Supermarket Ad Hoc Committee on a Uniform Grocery Product Code. This committee aims to establish guidelines for the formation of barcoding standards.