Tag Archives: barcode reader application

There’s Something Fishy about this Barcode

The Frieze Art Fair in London is one of the biggest of its kind, with tickets starting at £20 it is certainly not cheap. However it is full of innovative new ideas and, this year at least, a novel approach to QR Codes.

We have seen QR Codes in many different guises, from corn mazes to office roofs there seems no limit to what they will be used for. This story is no different, albeit it a bit tastier. The sushi restaurant ‘Moshi Moshi’ has been inviting visitors to the art fair to try their sushi, but first to scan their food! The sushi itself is a QR Code which, when scanned, takes them to a website about the sustainability of the fish they are eating.

This trial is being held at the festival with a view to rolling it out to more of their restaurants, so you too could scan your food before you eat it. This is indeed another gimmicky use of the QR Code. However it is raising awareness about a very important message and reminding us that our food has its own back-story to tell is more relevant than ever.

If you are interesting in using QR Codes, or any type of barcode, in your business then check out our website for barcode reading solutions.

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QR Codes vs. Digital Signage: but should they be compared?

I have been exploring the uses of QR Codes for a while and it seems clear that they offer huge advantages, especially for small businesses. With the minimal set up costs and ease of implication it is an easy step to take. However the manner in which they are used is still widely variable.

Reading an article comparing the use of QR Codes vs. Digital Signage for small businesses set me thinking, should they be compared at all? The only similarity is the ease with which the content can be changed, but a QR Code should not simply be replacing the job of what a chalkboard can do. With the extra hassle of finding the application on the phone and waiting for the content to load it is simply not comparable in that sense. QR Codes are a brilliant way to bridge the gap between physical and online spheres, but only where that is desirable.

For example a small shop should not keep a list of in-store special offers on a webpage accessible through a QR Code, its just hassle for everyone. However if you wish to encourage webtraffic and want to shift stock online QR Codes are a perfect way to channel interest.

Want to explore what barcode reading can do for your business, check out our range of SDKs for various platforms or our ready-to-use application on our website.

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USPS Look to Book Festive Business with Barcodes

The United States Postal Service have announced they will once again be looking to raise awareness of their seasonal offers through encouraging people to engage with mail through new technologies such as mobile barcodes. This will allow business users of the mail service to qualify for a 1-2% discount on delivery over the period; a substantial sum for many firms. To qualify the companies simply have to include a QR Code on their mail, which can be read by the recipient, to take them to a personalised webpage or online catalogue.

In tandem with this is a campaign to encourage the distribution of coupons and promotional offers for mobile shoppers. For obvious reasons the USPS are keen to encourage mobile shopping, if you buy on your phone it will be them who are paid to get it to you! Therefore this seems very sensible, a company taking the initiative in ensuring the market moves in the direction that suits them as quickly as possible. This also demonstrates how QR Codes should be used, not as some weak promotional gimmick but as the link to something which encourages business whilst offering something to the customer.

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Something Fishy Going on in Norway: New Barcode Standard Appears

There are a steady stream of news stories talking about what is next in the world of barcodes, RFID and NFC dominate headlines. However around the world it appears industry is sticking with the mantra of if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it. While QR Codes are heralded as a break through 1D barcodes are still clearly in the driving seat. They are cheap, simple and when linked to a database even a small barcode can provide more than enough information.

It is no surprise then that Norway have just launched a new barcode standard for fish boxes and pallets. Fishing is a huge industry in the Nordic country and has had to become highly regulated to ensure high standards. Barcodes can do this with ease and the investment in a new standard shows that they are far from on their way out. The reason for the change was to bring together several different systems and to established a single standard to which all could conform. Luckily in the world of barcodes such changes are not too expensive, simply means a change to the software and changing which barcodes you print; hardware can remain the same.

So don’t believe the hype, 2D barcodes and Near Field Communication may be all over the news but 1D barcodes offer the reliability and ease of use required by huge industry and will be with us for decades to come.

Do you agree 1D barcodes are far from obsolete?

Jack

For more information on barcode reading visit out website.

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Virtual Grocery Store Lands in the UK – Tesco joins the party

I have written blogs about entirely virtual grocery stores in the past, but these have always been stories of countries like South Korea or Japan who we associate as being very comfortable with such lavish technology use. However it has now arrived in the UK, or more precisely Gatwick airport, and its not just some new upstart company but Tesco who have introduced it. The idea is that you can scan all the products you want and they will be delivered for you on the day you return from holiday. This obviously is a solution to the annoying problem of going away on holiday for a fortnight, throwing out all your perishables, and returning home to no food in the fridge.

The fact that this should come from a large company such as Tesco is important, many people will already have accounts with Tesco; using their existing online delivery service. Secondly there is the trust issue, people are often wary of new innovations like this but the name Tesco will surely go a long way to allaying these fears. Also for something like this to be effective, and economical, it needs a large infrastructure, which again shows why this is Tesco who are undertaking the project rather than a small company; this is not a new idea, but it needs the correct situation to prosper.

However this is obviously a bit of a gimmick at this stage, the additional planning required to cope with this is surely going to cost more than this potential market. It could though just be a test, something which is going to be rolled out around the country. Supermarkets have been trying to get more convenient than the out of town retail park which once seemed to be the norm, see all the small ‘express’ versions popping up around town centres. These though will be costing a lot, property in town centres are not cheap. Therefore to simply shove up some barcodes the savings will be incredible.

I don’t think supermarkets and shops are about to all disappear to be replaced by barcodes but with such a big company emerging in the game it seems likely this will become a more common form of shopping.

Want to see what barcode reading software can do for you? Check out our website.

Jack

p.s. For more details on this story see the BBC.

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Corporate Responsibility and Compliance

Compliance is big business these days, ensuring that your business is showing the appropriate level of responsibility is key to safeguarding the companies future. However this is easier said than done. Tracking where your products are going and who is using them is possible though, and has many more applications than simply compliance; it also lets you target marketing and resources more effectively.

Barcodes are ideal for such a task. Their implementation is incredibly cheap and straight forward. This has led the home ministry in India to seek detonators, which are largely produced in the private sector, to be barcoded so they can be traced. With political extremism and terrorism a big issue they want to be able to trace where detonators have come from.

But don’t think that just becuase you don’t work in a sector involved with terrorism or high level explosives that this is not relevant to you. If you want to ensure that your products are being sold by the people you choose to represent your corporate image it is worth making sure you can trace your goods.

For more information on barcode reading applications of Software Development Kits check out our website.

Jack

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QR Codes in History

A commission by the Scottish government for a tapestry has raised eyebrows this week as it has been revealed that they plan to include QR Codes within the tapestry. This will enable smart phone users to scan the codes and find out more about the scenes depicted. A bold move which will undoubtedly leave many recoiling in horror, but is it really that bad?

Firstly if it gets a few young people more engaged with the topic (Scottish Diaspora) of each panel then that is better than a tapestry without QR Codes which no one understands as well. Secondly as a historical item maybe it will give a better reflection of our time than a more traditional tapestry. Smart phones and QR Codes are part of how we now interact with media and the world at large, so why shouldn’t they be included in such objects?

The proof will really be in how much the QR Codes are used. This though shouldn’t be a problem to register. Unlike most forms of information/advertising where only a rough guess at the number of views a leaflet has got can be made QR Codes allow for very clear statistics; including time spent on the page with the information.

So I guess time will tell what we should make of this move but it certainly will attract some headlines.

Jack

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Barcodes to the Rescue

Don’t you just hate it when you lose track of your new born child? This may be an old story but when I stumbled across it again I thought it worth sharing. In Spain when a child is born both mother and baby have their fingerprints taken. This information is then stored in barcodes worn by both, “acting as an ID card”.

The obvious questions this raises is how did the need arise for such a system? The people of Spain with children from before 2003 are probably considering DNA tests all over the place. But on a more serious note it does demonstrate the strengths of barcodes, allowing for a link between real world situations and the safety net provided by databases. Although some may find something a little ‘1984’ like in the idea of barcoding people at birth (don’t worry there not tattoos!) it would seem here is a good and practical solution to a problem which maybe shouldn’t exist!

Jack

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QR Codes Now Supported on Windows SDK

We are very happy to announce that the Softek Barcode Reader SDK for Windows now supports QR Codes and our mobile SDK versions will not be far behind. After a lot of development and testing we think that it is a major enhancement but don’t take our word for it; try it yourself now!

But what if you already have our software? Don’t worry! Any of our customers who have active support and upgrade cover will soon receive an email with download instructions for the update. However if you can’t wait that long then simply send us an email atsupport@bardecode.com and we’ll get it to you straight away. For anyone currently unaware QR Codes head over to our blog for more information on what they are and how they are different to Data Matrix barcodes.

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Barcode Printing

Just in case you weren’t aware Barcode printing isn’t really our thing at Softek. However with the Barcode Reader Software we produce there is an obvious link with the quality of barcodes being produced. It never ceases to amaze me how poor the quality of printing and scanning or barcodes can be. Although the ability to still read such poor quality barcodes is even more astonishing. In this article though we are simply going to look at the printing.

One of the most obvious trade offs is between speed and quality (and most likely price of the printer too). When looking at the speed of printing it is worth considering the speed of reading in the equation too. A poorer quality barcode will take longer to read, as will a barcode at a peculiar angle.

Also whether a Barcode is printed directly onto something or stuck on as a sticker it should be remembered that for a more reliable read a ‘quiet zone’ around the barcode should be allowed for. If a barcode is placed within a tight fitting box for example it becomes much harder to decipher what line is the box and what line is the start of the barcode without giving extra instructions and thus taking extra time.

Although these are just some of the points to consider from the angle of barcode reading there are many other consideration to take into account. This though is not my area of expertise so I have compiled below a list of useful websites for barcode printing information.

Hope this helps, let me know what your best barcode printing tips are with any comments below!

Jack

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