Barcodes and their uses

We are all today aware of barcodes and many of their uses, and although it first appeared in America 62 years ago, although it took a little while for it to become established there, but by 1979 a visitor to the United States from the UK would have wondered how the supermarkets and pharmacies managed to get all the items into the cash register in such a short space of time, the barcode was virtually unheard of here then.

Now of course they appear on just about everything and their use have meant that cost can be kept lower. Because it is faster to scan an item than it is to key in the price at a cash register, it means less check out staff, which eventually means lower prices.

We thought that we would just give a couple of instances where bar codes are in use, one is actually an amusing if somewhat difficult to believe. One person told of the use of barcodes in her line of work which was in the National Blood Service where she was employed in the laboratory. There barcodes are used to make sure all blood products are accounted for during processing, an invaluable use of the humble barcode.

The other you involved a person who had their national insurance number tattooed to their arm for some reason, they came across another who had a similar tattoo and when asked what it represented, the reply came back “sorry don’t know, think it might be a loaf of bread”! We think alcohol might have been in the equation somewhere!

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