A lot has happened in sixty two years

It has been a very busy 62 years and a lot of things have happened in that time. Men have gone to the moon and back, there have been numerous conflicts and many Prime Ministers have come and gone. Queen Elizabeth also came to the Throne in February of 1952, but our industry has seen some significant changes too.

In October of that year, a patent was filed in the United States that would eventually affect the way we shop and how business and industry operate, the barcode came into life. Today according to the regulator GS1 UK, there are more than five million individual barcodes in use worldwide.

But it was not until 1974 that the famous little black and white stripes appeared, the first item to be read was a humble packet of chewing gum, we did not have laser technology to read them until then!

Barcodes today perform a multitude of tasks and new ones are being discussed to see if they are both feasible and time saving. The QR code is the very latest new idea that is appearing on items and in advertisements, this is an image made up of dots, which can contain more data than a barcode. The main purpose is different from that of the barcode, the QR code’s main purpose is to direct a person to another web page or manufacturers catalogue for example. It can be a very useful addition on a label.

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