A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data, which shows data about the
object to which it attaches. Originally, barcodes represented data by varying the widths and spacing of parallel lines and may be referred to as linear or one dimensional (1D). Later they evolved into rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns in two dimensions (2D). Although 2D systems use a variety of symbols, they are generally referred to as barcodes as well. Barcodes originally were scanned by special optical scanners called barcode readers. Later, scanners and interpretive software became available on devices including desktop printers and smart phones. The first use of barcodes was to label railroad cars, but they were not commercially successful until they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. Their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic
identification and data capture (AIDC).
Other systems have made inroads in the AIDC market, but the simplicity, universality and low cost of barcodes has limited the role of these other systems until the first decade of the 21st century, over 40 years after the introduction of the commercial barcode, with the introduction of technologies such as radio
frequency identification, or RFID.
Due to advances in technology, barcode labeling has now replaced the usual method of pricing goods for sale. Barcode labels
are a series of continuous white spaces and black stripes of different widths which can be scanned and interpreted by a barcode scanner.
The coding of barcode labels is done using different symbols that can be read and interpreted by designated software or
a barcode scanner. This type of system is used in a variety of applications for quick billing, precise calculations and maintaining inventory records.
Barcode labels help to classify an application or a product uniquely and effectively. The data capture rate when using barcode labels is much faster and mistakes are thus minimized. With barcode labels, inventory management becomes very easy compared to how it was done in the past.
Cost saving and precise data collection is one of the major benefits of using barcode labels. Keeping track of inventory
is one of the best ways to save on capital costs whilst keeping a track of inventory items at the same time.
Barcode labels also provide quick access to comprehensive information about the product, which helps management to make better decisions, stay ahead of the
competition and grab opportunities that may present themselves.