Barcodes have been around for years now, it’s hard to imagine a shop without them. However, as discussed in earlier posts, they are no longer simply the preserve of those working in commerce; the public is now being invited to scan barcodes themselves. I was recently reading an article on the website Mobile Squared and was astounded by the figures mentioned. In the US in 2010 the article claims that Barcode use expanded by a humongous 1600% ! What is most staggering about this is that Barcodes were clearly in widespread use beforehand, such a figure shows how vast the market is for personal use of barcodes.
The article does suggest that Europe is lagging behind in terms of barcode adoption but that this is rapidly changing. Yesterday, confined to the joy of a long distance train journey, I was looking through the Newspaper and found barcodes everywhere, not simply on the front for a cashier but in adverts tempting the reader to engage. This is also being seen with Tesco starting to introduce Augmented Reality (with a name like that should be much more exciting!) into their stores. This can only bring more excitement into what is likely a rather dull shopping experience, bridging the gap between what people are able to do at home when shopping online and what they can do instore; viewing trailers for DVDs etc.
Barcodes then are rapidly moving into a new domain, away from logistics and into everyday life. Although America may be ahead of the game currently there is no avoiding the expansion in Europe too. Personally I don’t think that 2010 with be the last year for which we see outrageous growth statistics in the thousands!