Norman Woodland, a 27-year-old graduate student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia developed the first code system that automatically read product information during checkout. Woodland and his friend Silver were awarded a patent for their application titled Classifying Apparatus and Method on October 7, 1952. Many experts are of the view that the Woodland and Silver
In the beginning, barcodes were developed to store data in the spacing of printed parallel lines. The idea was to help grocery stores speed up the checkout process and keep better track of the inventory. However, the system soon picked up and became a success story.
Barcodes form the basis of identification in almost all types of businesses in the modern world. Barcodes are variously called as Universal Product Codes or UPCs. These are machine-readable codes and come in strips, generally comprising of a series of short black lines of varied thickness. These codes are read by optical scanners called barcode readers or scanned from an image by special software. A laser reader or scanner can translate the barcodes into the corresponding alpha-numeric digits, which are used to uniquely identify a piece of property. Barcodes are used world over to implement Auto ID Data Capture (AIDC) systems that improve the speed and accuracy of computer data entry.
At present, we have codes in several patterns of dots, concentric circles and hidden in images. Barcodes are provided by a body called Uniform Code Council (UCC). A manufacturer has to apply to the UCC for permission to enter the UPC system. An annual fee is charged for the service. In return, the UCC issues the manufacturer a six-digit manufacturer identification number. The manufacturer identification number is part of a standard 12-digit