Tag Archives: download

Barcodes: Pillars of Art

The challenge of public art is often in conveying complicated messages and views through very simple mediums. A statue or mural are the popular forms chosen, however these certainly have their limitations. Conceptional artists Claudia Reisenberger and Franka Diehnelt, of California, have utilised barcodes to show over 200 hundred years of history at the the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening  Project Site (basically a building site).

barcode reader art

Barcodes in Art

Each pillar of the viaduct has been transformed into a red and white barcode which contains some historical information. I’m not sure how practical these barcodes will be to read but it is certainly a striking look.

If you want to investigate barcode reading as part of your mobile application then 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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Creative Barcode: Intellectual Property Innovation

The Creative Barcode company claims they have the first innovation in the Intellectual Property sphere for more than three decades, and its a hard claim to refute. Not much has happened in the last three decades regarding intellectual property. However the way everyone works has changed massively with the onset of the internet and the digital age. Therefore this simple and intuitive solution allows for a dynamic approach and maximum control for the owner of intellectual property.

The Creative Barcode

The use of barcodes makes perfect sense since they can remain unchanged while the content they link to regarding the status of a piece of intellectual property may be dynamic. For more information check out their website.

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Mobile Giants Battle over Barcode Patents

We have all heard recently of the patent battles raging between Samsung and Apple; Samsung now have to pay huge sums of money to Apple. This is nothing new and seems to have become a rather ugly side to the world of business where legal departments do battle. Aside from the fact that a patent should be an ‘unintuitive’ step, which most of their patents for ’rounded edges’ are not, it means that the consumer loses out. Less choice and higher prices seem to be the inevitable outcome.

However the patents that companies are battling over does show clues as to the future of mobiles technology. With this in mind I have been very interested to see in the news patents for mobile barcode technology being awarded to the large mobile companies. They appear to be mainly related to capabilities for enhanced shopping experiences where you can scan a barcode to add something to your shopping list. This is not a new concept with Tesco including it within their mobile shopping app quite a while a go. This point aside, though, it is clear that the expansion of barcode enabled mobile shopping is going to arrive.

If you want to get ahead of the game with mobile barcode technology then check out our website.

Where do you see mobile barcode technology going?


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London Olympics – Reflections on the Games and Future Legacy

So the London Olympics have come to an end, and sadly I have been beaten. No, I was not competing, and neither did I get fed up of it, quite the opposite. As I settled in to watch the opening ceremony the cynic within was ready to start lampooning the cheap efforts to replicate Beijing’s extravagance. However I found myself enjoying a great evening of entertainment (almost patriotic!) and have not looked back for the past sixteen days. If I’m not at work or out on my bike then I’ve been firmly parked infront of the box shouting and screaming in support of the South Korean Handball team or a Grenadian sprinter. As a company we all sadly missed out on tickets to the games, such was the demand, but we did make it to some of the free stuff. The ‘training team’ we sponsor were there to cheer on Team GB in the men’s road race, although that particular event didn’t go to plan the dominance of GB on two wheels has been a highlight of the Olympics for us (especially after Wiggo’s win at the Tour). 

This last week I have been working in Edinburgh where another of Britain’s great events is held, the Fringe Comedy Festival. I had read many articles talking of the Olympics damaging the festival but there was no sign of that, the city was as packed as ever during the festival month. The city centre a constant crowd of different nationalities and people flyering. The BBC had erected 2 huge screens in the centre where you could enjoy a drink and watch the sport alongside a huge enthusiastic crowd. Even better, the sun was out, in Scotland! A great evening was spent with a Gin and Tonic watching the 200m final with the Jamaican clean sweep. There was also time to get out into the hills with some of the Softek Software training team, and the hills around Edinburgh do not disappoint!

So as a business based near London, but experiencing the Olympics across the UK, all I can say is it has been brilliant. Too often the UK seems in the news for negative reasons and as a company dealing internationally it can knock the image and consequently sales. However in the wake of this event British business should have a new confidence in the world market. Maybe we no longer have the overwhelming muscle now enjoyed by China, and reflected in their Olympics, but we can deliver a good job which most importantly will last the test of time. It astonished me that London 2012 is the first games to have an emphasis on legacy, no throw away lavish celebrations but an attempt to ‘inspire a generation’. This is a great image to share with the world and to associate with Britain, quality which will last for centuries not just a quick short term success.

I will end this post before I get too misty eyed, after all the world goes on and we have the Vuelta Espana to get excited about next. What was your lasting impression of the games? Is this a fair reflection or is it seen differently from around the world? For more reflection check out this report card from Yahoo USA.



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Mooving Forward – Cows and QR Codes

When I heard that a cow had gone viral I thought this could be no good thing; I’m not vet but memories of foot and mouth loom large. However this time it is all fun and games as a dairy cow has had a QR Codes painted on her side as a web link to ‘her’ blog. The blog contains details of her daily routine, which is interesting even if a little unsurprising.

The cow is not just a very talented self publicist but is part of a campaign by the UK Dairy Industry to raise their profile. Although personally I preferred it when they sponsored ‘The Milk Race’ – the UKs ‘equivalent’ of the Tour de France.

A Quirky Innovation

I don’t have much of an opinion on this but since this is a blog and banal opinions seem the order of the day when I get going I will share one with you anyway. This is a clever stunt and has made several news sources, maybe on a slow news day but still it does the job. However the really clever bit is in just how cheap it is, QR Codes are generated for free and then the programme to read them is also free (such as ours for android!). Just make sure you aren’t paying millions to a marketing agency before you start since it really is very simple.

Let me know you thoughts,


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Big Problems Require Simple Solutions

Everyone will have faced big problems or big projects in their line of work, the sort of problem which at first seems insurmountable. However these issues which seems to have no easy answer are often best solved with the simplest of solutions.Take for example Monday’s post about charities using QR Codes to generate extra revenue from people without cash, it didn’t need hand held card machines, simply used the technology everyone is already carrying.

Therefore I was unsurprised to see that the Egyptian elections had been making the most of barcode technology. Since they are holding what are considered the first free and fair elections in their modern history there is no precedent to work from, no template. Using barcodes they are able to quickly ensure that the national identification cards match up with the lists they have.

I am well aware though that you are probably not reading this seeking advice for running elections in a newly democratic country (and if you are, I’d keep looking!) but the point remains the same for other complicated projects. Keep it simple. Systems work best when everyone understands them and when there are checks in place to avoid human error, barcodes can offer both of these things. So if you are looking to simplify or increase efficiency then check out our website.


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Award Winning Software

Once again the Softek Barcode Reader has been named one of the top products by ComponentSource! The continued success of the Barcode Reader is testament to the high quality service it offers and the ability to keep evolving.

If you would like to try the SDK or our ready to use application for yourself then head over to our website where they can both be downloaded, and then simply get in touch for an evaluation license! With QR Codes now supported and improved Data Matrix reading, alongside many other features, there has never been a better time to give it a go!

If you are not sure how barcode reading can help your business then check out previous posts on this blog.


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New Release.. New Features… Better Barcode Reading

The last couple of weeks have been busy ones here at Softek Software. As driving rain and windy conditions try to dampen the office bike rides new versions and better barcode reading have been slowly emerging. As the result of feedback from customers and innovative approaches we are pleased to announce several improvements to both the SDK and the ready to use application (BardecodeFiler).

Firstly BardecodeFiler, which requires no development (simply download and use!) has seen a very useful new feature added. No Longer can it only be run in an automated fashion though Windows Scheduler but it now has its own timer. Hopefully this will allow for a greater user experience and better efficiency; why make things more complicated than they need to be? This can allow a company to run regular (e.g. every 15 minutes) scans of the input folder to ensure a quick flow of information through the office.

New Timer Feature

Secondly we are very pleased to announce new and improved Data Matrix Barcode reading. For more information on these 2D barcodes see my post from last week. Although these were read at a very high rate before we feel that this new version exceeds all expectations. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself! It can be downloaded for free from our website and you can get a free 30 day evaluation license by dropping us an email.

So if you are an existing customer then we recommend trying out the latest version to see how it can help you. And if you are currently considering the adoption of barcode technology then check out our software, it could just be the difference your company is looking for!


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300Mbps Broadband: Not a typo

The last few days have been a struggle, here in the Edinburgh office we have been encountering the slow internet. Crawling downloads of below 100kbps which render work laborious. Although I can gratefully say the the problem is now rectified it meant I did do a little poking around for other options. It was at this point I found on the BBC website a story about BT intending to roll out 300Mbps broadband to businesses in the UK next year. This is 3 times the size of there current largest available speed.

This is significant since everyone has now come to terms with the fact that the speed advertised is not the speed you get; based on distance from an exchange among many other factors. Therefore despite most people and business these days going for 20mbps broadband the national average, according to ofcom, is only 7.6mbps.

An area this could have a large impact in is that of ‘web books’ and tablet PCs which are fairly rubbish without the internet, and still essentially useless with crawling internet speeds. Moves like this which will see the limit greatly increased could be the game changer required to make them more reliable. However with a realistic view if 20mbps broadband converts in reality to 7.6mbps then 300mbps can only really be expected at 114mbps… still, I’d settle for that right now.


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