Barcodes have become universal as they have succeeded in the commercial sector with their use at the check-out counters of every supermarket.
Barcode technology is one of the oldest techniques used for asset tracking. Indeed, it has several benefits and it is very easy to use. The technique is very simple, it allocates a unique series of numbers to the fixed assets inside cafÃ©s, restaurants, etc. That number of series enables the industries to track, monitor and manage their fixed assets all through their life cycle.
Therefore, barcode tracking becomes all the more useful when a cafÃ©, hotel, or restaurant has multiple locations. The barcode is one of the pioneer methods of asset tracking and it can be easily implemented in any industry including the food manufacturing industry.
What is a barcode?
It is a data representation in code form, readable by machines and scanners. Barcodes come in a square shape with parallel lines in black and white and there are some numbers written below them. The code is used for asset or inventory tracking.
The data can be read by smartphones too. Now barcodes come in 1- Dimensional and 2-Dimensional forms. 1-D is simple, it can store text data, product price while 2-D are more complex as they can embed information like price, quantity, image, etc.
Barcode sticker is labeled on a product or item and it gives it a unique identification. One can obtain information about the product by scanning the sticker.
What is QR Code?
QR code is a quick response code method. It's a 2-dimensional code that is in machine-readable form.
The barcode and QR code are quite similar to each other. QR code can indeed be called an advanced version of the barcode.
The technology of barcode and QR code is not only capable of tracking inventory but can be used for several other purposes. Here are some examples.
Trending Uses of Barcode and QR Code Technology
1. Event handling
Barcode tags are utilized in confirmation tickets in cinemas or events to uniquely distinguish and check the legitimacy of the ticket before the client can attend the event.
Barcode is also used to calculate sales generated from the event. It is thus helpful to monitor earnings. Barcodes are cost-effective too for event management as there is no need for cash to deliver tickets - people who want to attend events or shows can print the barcode at anyplace and show it at the venue.
Also, for travel from one place to another, passengers can even print out their tickets and check-in by showing the code via smartphone.
2. Business promotion
This is another interesting case of the QR code application. It empowers advertisers to track the impact of advertising and marketing efforts through reviewing analytics. The advertiser can furnish more data to the client with QR codes and stay updated with the latest market trends.
For example, it can be found out which product has better engagement with customers and that particular product can be promoted in other regions for enhancing business.
Business professionals carry their business cards. In this era of digitalization, the QR code can store much more information. Businesses are eager to utilize this opportunity.
A QR code can be designed in a detailed manner. Once scanned, it can show all business-related information such as website, social media links, images, etc. and not just the name, contact number and company name.
3. Retrieve & track tree information
According to an article in The Hindu, there are trees with QR code and students are able to retrieve the information they need - from the scientific name to medicinal value.
As per Srinivas Reddy, Head of Botany Department in a college “Students now do not have the time to learn about the things around them via books. To keep up with the digital trend, we collected the database of all the trees in the college and assigned QR codes to them, making it easier for everybody to learn about a plant or a tree at the tip of their fingers”.
There are several government organizations that have to guard forests against illegal logging mafia. Now, governments are using barcode and QR code technology to keep track of the trees in the bio reserves.
Barcode technology has been there since the 90s. It is interesting to know that barcodes have been in use by the gaming industry since that time.
A good example is the Barcode Battler. The console at retail was supplied with a number of cards, each of which had a barcode. Upon starting the game, the player must swipe a barcode, representing a player. The game uses barcodes to create a character for the player to use.
The game was very popular in Japan but in other countries, it was not so prevalent. Due to the hype around the barcode technology, more people understand the potential of barcode tags and the technology behind them.
There were some other barcode games in the UK such as Dinosaur King and Love and Berry, which have kept the interest alive in this market.
Barcode and QR code technologies help organizations to make their daily processes more accurate and bring in operational efficiencies. They are quite easy to implement, cost-effective and simple.
Barcode technology is now used everywhere from hospitals to manufacturing, from corporate bodies to post offices. It is widely used in shipping packages for online tracking.
There is no real limitation to the type of activities that can be achieved with barcode and QR code technology for engaging with the clients - redirecting clients to the company social media pages or requesting for a review.