Tag Archives: software

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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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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Barcodes for Small Businesses

In charities and small businesses there is no room for waste, even small changes can sometimes be big decisions due to the resultant effect on already tight cash flows. However if you want to keep an organisation running smoothly and efficiently, investments must be made.

The Watford Observer has reported that the county council has awarded £750 to the Rickmansworth Toy Library to allow them to implement a barcode lending system. Many people working in business will be reluctant to take lessons from a local toy library, however it is something worth paying attention to. An efficient and automated system not only provides a check on human error but it also allows staff to concentrate on the less monotonous tasks which can really propel an organisation forward.

In small business there is always the option of a manual workaround, and often they do save money, but a long term view can help a small group of people have a big impact. For more information on what barcode reading could do for your business check out our ready-to-use barcode application.

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QR Codes… not just for the living!

I have covered this news story previously when an American funeral directors and head stone producer started included QR Codes on head stones. I did not think I would see it again as I was doubtful people would wish to do anything novel with a grave stone.

However the BBC have now reported that it is taking off as a trend in Denmark. Since it has reappeared it seemed worth giving it another thought and it occurred to me that this was an excellent use of the technology. I am still not sure I would use the service myself but it solves the issue of a graveyards anonymity. If you see a head stone all you can gather from it is a name and some dates, you may be lucky to get a small quote but other than that there is nothing else we can find. Therefore as a system to neatly provide more information it is perfect, although the links must of course be well maintained.

Despite the fact I will not be rushing out to invest in this industry it does show the potential of QR Codes. With less than an inch square you can provide unlimited information through any media format you wish; not just text. If you wish to find out more about the potential of barcode reading for your company then check out our website.

Jack

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Sun, Sea, Sand and…. QR Codes?

The BBC’s technology show, ‘Click‘,has an interesting video demonstrating the use of QR Codes on a beach in sunny Santa Monica. Now at first this appears to be another gratuitous use of the easily generated barcode, slapped on a bin in order to generate some publicity. The details though prove it is much more, and something which may be worth adopting elsewhere.

The QR Codes are on the side of the bin, and it must be said do nothing to change the functionality of the bin. However the QR Codes being placed around the beach lead people to an online space where weather forecasts, tidal information and water quality rating can be accessed. Alongside this photos can be shared between those using the beach. This use of QR Codes to try and tie together the users of a communal space into a community is genius, it is the sense of community which will lead to greater pride being taken in the space and greater use of the good old trusty bin.

So, no, it is not a revolution for bins; but it does offer a real chance to change how people interact with the spaces they share.

For more information on QR Codes see the bardecode knowledge base.

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Optimizing Income: QR Codes

If there is one industry which has to continually innovate it is the charity sector; often the first to feel the hit of an economic downturn as people feel they can be less generous with their hard earned cash. Therefore they are always quick adopters of new technology to optimise their income, the less money spent publicising the more money they can reserve for the real work.

In recent years the Salvation Army and homeless charity Simon on the Street, among others, have used QR Codes to direct people to an optimised payment page where a donation can be made. So if someone simply has no cash on them it is no problem for the collectors! What is more QR Codes take almost no investment to introduce, they are easily made for free and only cost as much as the paper they are printed on.

It is also worth remembering that the application required on smart phones for reading the QR Codes is freely available and most owners have such technology. We have our own freely available QR Code reader available for Android Phones which can be found on Google Play.

Fore more information on QR Codes check out our knowledge base.

Jack

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Softek Cycling Project

Those who follow us on twitter may be aware here as Softek we are a cycling mad bunch. Whether its a sneaky office bike ride on a quiet day or turning on the Giro d’Italia finish on an afternoon in the office, we love it. Therefore when the opportunity has come along to sponsor the kit of a small cycling team starting up in Edinburgh we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. Although starting right at the bottom we look forward to seeing what they can achieve, and we’ll share the kit and results on here as they arrive!

So although we may not be about to hit the big time cycling world this is exciting stuff for Softek Software, keep an eye out for them on the roads and news on their progress here!

More info soon!

Jack

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The North Face Facing the Future

If you are a shopper of North Face stores in the US then you can now use their iphone app. This allows you to scan the barcode of products in store to receive real time information on sizing and colours in stock. This makes sense; rather than having to find a staff member and ask them to look, which is often inefficient, this instantly lets you know what is available. Early adoption by companies such as The North Face is a big leap of faith but the vast improvement it can offer customers in their shopping experience is likely to pay dividends. Shoppers, as humans, tend to take the path of least resistance so anything to make it easier is going to drive sales.

The only issue with this scheme is how specific it is. Firstly it only works North Face stores, perfect if that is where you always shop but if you are just popping in it will take longer to download the app and scan the barcode than simply asking the staff. This could be a big problem with adoption. Secondly it is only available for iPhone, with the widespread use of android this instantly wipes out a large portion of the smart phone market. (check out our mobile SDK though… it includes iphone AND android at no extra cost!)

Therefore long term maybe we will see retailers setting a standard for such a system, so that a single application may service an entire shopping centre or even every large retailer across a country.

Jack

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Know Your Food… Scan it!

In recent decades it appears there have been countless food scares, most memorable the ‘mad cow’ disease which obliterated British livestock farming for the best part of a decade. Although this has long recovered and a British steak is once again a fine thing to sit down and enjoy it has meant that tough lessons were learnt. It became obvious that for consumers to be able to make informed choices about what they were purchasing they had to have more knowledge.

The producers have to be accountable. What is more this works to protect the majority of producers. Those who are cutting less corners in production can show their better produce and satisfy consumers that they are keeping up standards. Now why am I harping on about agricultural standards in a barcode news blog? This is because barcodes fit the job perfectly here, as New Zealand has shown. If you purchase beef in New Zealand you can scan a barcode on it and learn everything about the animal it came from.

It is clearly not feasible to have an entire fact sheet printed on each piece of meat sold, therefore barcodes yet again make a huge leap forward economically viable where before it may have simply been a pipe dream. So if you ever find yourself in New Zealand treat yourself to a steak, scan the barcode, and enjoy it with the knowledge of where your food came from!

Jack

Want to know how to integrate barcode reading into your business? Check out our website!

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