The many roles of the barcode

If you imagine that barcodes are only used in stores or a retail environment, which is perfectly understandable, you would be wrong to imagine this. Barcode labels are used for a wide variety of purposes, as they are able to carry and retain information that can be quickly and easily scanned in relatively small spaces.

The most obvious one is of course pricing of products, here they are used to indicate the price at the checkout and no guesswork is involved or individual prices attached to the product which can be defaced or removed, safeguarding the customer. They can also be used very effectively in passports or ID cards, many of these will have barcodes on them. In the workplace, they are used to record the clocking on and clocking off times of employees and are also used in maintaining security at offices, by knowing the details of the persons entering into the building.

Documents such as letters or parcels also have barcodes; this enables information such as, the date, time and place of receiving, the person who has received it, the person who prepared the documents, etc. These Barcodes are now seen on tickets to know whether it is genuine or not. Tickets are scanned before entering an event and this information can also be used to keep a check on how many people are in the building.

Barcode labels are being widely used in hospitals to keep all the information related to patients documented. These labels are tied to the wrists of patients, which carry full information on the patient and information on medication and special dietary needs. The use of the barcode today is growing and possibly knows no bounds.

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