Tag Archives: barcodes

Mason City: New Barcode Pathology System

There are many industries where failure and mistakes are simply not an option. While care for the living is an obvious one it is also the case in post-mortem care; no family will tolerate a mistake when it comes to the care of a loved one. Therefore it is no surprise that the Mercy medical Centre in North Iowa have turned to barcodes in order to ensure that the correct information is stored for the correct bodies. The new system also allows staff to track progress whether it is at another facility or in storage. The ease with which barcodes can attach the physical with the digital is something that makes it so versatile.

So how does this apply to business in general? The lesson is that no business should be accepting mistakes due to inadequate systems. Although it may not lead to such an awkward situation as dealing with the body of a loved one, when the solution is as simple and cost effective as barcode reading software it is simple. Whether it is used to improve efficiency or simply act as a double check for human error it is clear that many organisations could benefit from its inclusion. If you look at any of the most complicated industries barcodes are at the heart of them; retail, logistics and now health.

If you want to see how barcode reading can help your company check out our website for our ready-to-use barcode filing  application and software development kit.

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Meriden Linear Trail using QR Codes for Tourists

The Meriden trail has decided to start using QR Codes placed along the trail in order to provide information about the surroundings. The neat little QR Codes can provide easy to update platforms which don’t impinge on their surroundings as much as a large information board. The route which follows the original route of the Meriden, Waterbury, and Connecticut river railroad through Meriden is popular with both cyclists and walkers, helping attract tourists to the area.

Providing a more complete experience for tourists at such low cost will clearly benefit everyone, and is something that other low density tourist attractions should consider. Where numbers may be low and the investment money lacking such a  cheap solution is an ideal place to start with increasing the experience. More importantly it is sustainable, large information boards are costly and time consuming to change, webpages are dynamic and free to update.

But what about scanning these barcodes? Try our free to use android app or barcode reading software development kits.

Meriden Linear Trail

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Deck the halls with QR Codes? A Cautionary Tale.

By all accounts it is too early for this post. The mentioned of the ‘C’ word should be taboo, but the season of Christmas marketing is almost upon us. Marketing departments are starting to finalise their campaigns and try to find something different.

We will undoubtedly see many QR Codes as they try to capture the growing mobile markets. With the number of smartphones now used it is clear that they are a key part of how consumers interact with companies. Those companies who wish to spurn this development will be missing out on a large slice of the market.

However, despite reading many articles predicting a landslide of QR Code campaigns I think caution should be exercised. As I have mentioned many times in this blog you cannot force people to take the 20 seconds or so to scan a QR Code, you must offer them a reward! A shiny commercial for your product does not count, make it something worthwhile; a discount or some content of real value. What is more let them know what they will get before they scan, otherwise your QR Code may be lost alongside the thousands of others.

If you want to get your phone ready for QR Codes then check out our free barcode scanner app in the google play store or our Software Development Kits.

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Record Breaking Barcode

AC Labels, of Derby (UK), have set the world record for the longest linear barcode. The event was organised yo celebrate the 60th anniversary of the patenting of the barcode by the firm which specialises in barcode labels. So what does the barcode say if you scan it? “HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY BARCODE!” of course.

The barcode is 40m long, but is there anything capable of reading it? I was keen to give the picture a go in our SDK but sadly we only get part of the barcode here so we may never know. If anyone has a full size picture send it over and we will give it a go. Alternatively you can test our SDK, or ready-to-use application, yourself by downloading it from our website.

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Instant Quote for Used Phone…Enabled by QR Codes

Everyone has seen adverts for these companies, the model obviously proves profitable. Old smartphones can be traded in, for money, to be recycled. These companies make money, the consumer makes money and the phones do not end up straight in the landfill. However the process is not flawless, the companies like to view the phones before they pay money for them and consumers are easily put off by such obstacles. This means that only around 10% ever get recycled in such a manner.

So what is the solution? QR Codes of course. American company MaxBack has released a QR Code which, when scanned, assesses the phone and makes an instant offer. This clever use of the QR Code works in several ways. Firstly its entire target audience has smartphones so can scan the device, secondly it is self selecting. If someone has a smartphone which is so run down it will no longer scan a QR Code then it cannot get the offer. Finally it means that when someone sends their phone off they can do so with a good awareness of what they will receive in return.

So don’t get bogged down in the numerous terrible uses of QR Codes, embrace those who do the technology justice! For more information on our Mobile Barcode Reading SDK check out our website.


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Barcodes Reach 60!

60 years ago, on sunday 7th October, the barcode patent was filed in the USA. It only took another 22 years for the required readers to appear and for them to appear in the first shops in 1974 but since then the world has not looked back. The fact that the barcode was invented decades before an effective method for reading them was developed is testament to how simple the barcodes themselves are, simply lines of ink.

The BBC have written a very interesting piece about barcodes on their 60th birthday, exploring the standard debate surround QR Codes vs. Traditional 1D barcodes, worth a read but I will try not to regurgitate.

The major point I think it is worth making on the 60th birthday of the Barcode is that they show no sign of disappearing. The task they perform in linking physical objects to a digital database is more relevant than ever, and there is nothing which can compete in terms of cost-effectiveness. So do I think that we will be celebrating 100 years of barcodes in the year 2052? Yes. I am sure that Near Field Communication will develop and the price will come down but the simplicity of barcodes is going to keep them central to the indsutrialised world. Especially as more countries become industrialised and there is a greater competition for resources the simply solutions will surely stand the test.

What are you opinions on the future hopes of barcodes?

If you are interested in exploring what barcodes can do for your business then check out our website, with Software Development Kits and a ready-to-use application there is something to suit anyone.

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QR Code Use on the Rise

The use of QR Codes has in recent years started to get a bad press in some quarters, their gratuitous use of annoyance to many. This has led to many predicting their speedy demise to be replaced by NFC which can offer more information. However is appears that for all the negativity the use of QR Codes in the USA has increased 40% year on year (taken from BBC website).

This will come of little surprise to those who have used QR Codes since unlike NFC there is little (almost no) cost in implementation. The only cost is in the printing of the QR Code and all the complicated information which you may wish to convey is simply held on a website. Especially at a time when companies do not have the money to invest heavily but still need to innovate the choice of QR Codes seems obvious.

It should also be seen as a consumer driven trend. Although every phone you now see advertised comes under the ‘smart phone’ category there are still many new people changing to smartphones each year; the market is not yet at its full size. Therefore as more people invest in smartphones the effectiveness of QR Codes can only increase. So if companies follow the basic rules or using short web addresses to keep the barcode simple and ensure that the user is offered something for their effort then QR Codes will continue to flourish.

Want to read QR Codes on your android? Check out our FREE application in the Google Play store. Alternatively if you want to learn about integrating barcode reading into your software then visit our website.


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Affordable Innovations

I have written about several uses of QR Codes being implemented on signs to deliver more information, whether it be on tourist routes in Cornwall or bus stops in Leeds. The latest place to go along this route is the tidal road which gives access to Holy Island. It was only last year that a couple had to abandon their hire car after getting caught out by the tides. Although a sign clearly states ‘Do not proceed when water reaches causeway’ to the layman it could be a big ask to establish when is too close.

The solution has been to introduce new signs using QR Codes to link travellers to the latest information required. The other alternative which was cited in this case was an electronic board which would advise drivers on whether it is safe; although clearly an effective option it is often prohibitively expensive. Therefore when it comes to delivering the most up to date and advanced information possible to locations which are either too remote or numerous for heavy investment a QR Code is able to achieve similar results at the fraction of the price.

The obvious flaw here is that not everyone owns a smart phone capable of utilising such information. However where the alternative is no information QR Codes clearly have an important role to play. Want to integrate barcode reading into your application? Check out our website!


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QR Codes in the Military?

If you have a smartphone in America you could grab yourself 40,000 dollars by simply scanning a few QR Codes, only problem…. you’ve got to find them! This elaborate test, or game (depending on how you see it), is designed to see how people could cope in a national emergency and reach the resources they need.

Due to the size of America it is clear that no one will simply stumble upon all the QR Codes so the exercise is in seeing how well people collaborate through social media to find all the QR Codes. The contest has currently been running since 23 Feb so I’m actually quite surprised all the QR Codes haven’t been found yet, unless competitors are guarding their locations from others online. A bigger issue may be simply getting to all the QR Codes.

Anyhow this essentially leads on from my previous post about QR Codes being used in Bordeaux to boost tourism and create interactive games. The fact that you can link the real world and virtual world so effectively opens up many possibilities and these ideas will only progress to become more sophisticated.

Would anyone take part in something like this, even if it didn’t involve travel across the whole of the states?


p.s. Check out our mobile SDK which has a great QR scanner or download our FREE bardecoder app for android.

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QR Codes Saving Money for Business

It has always been a big issue for buses, you want plenty of stops, you want to keep the travellers informed of arrival times but buses are unpredictable due to traffic. There are now electronic displays which can inform passengers of how long until the next bus but these are expensive when there are so many stops and often cannot be catered for outside of a city.

Therefore Leeds have opted for a QR Code based system, each bus stop has a QR Code which passengers can scan and then their smart phone turns into an arrivals board for that bus stop! This means that for the price of printing a sticker the city has been able to give up to date arrival times to everyone with a smart phone. Taking the unpredictability out of public transport which can make it so unappealing when you are trying to make it somewhere for a certain time.

QR Codes are perfect for allowing a business to use someone’s own personal device instead of investing in expensive equipment; furthermore consumers almost always prefer to use their own system which they are comfortable with. This idea is transferable for almost any business, whether you want to give information on directions around your office or access to online stock information.

If you need a QR Code reader then we offer one for FREE from the Android Market Place.

Also if you are looking to develop an application using a barcode reader then this month we are offering huge discounts on our mobile SDK… so head to our website!

I’d be very interested to hear your comments below.


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