When stores’ traffic increased and the demand for products grew, it was imperative to keep accurate inventory well stocked by tracking how much you carried and which items were in demand. When manual counting became too time consuming and too inaccurate, the barcode was born. The first UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode was scanned in 1974. Buying groceries from the local market changed forever from that point on.
Whether an event is big or small, whether you’re traveling, or whether you’re using a discount, tickets are distributed and collected easily with the help of barcodes. When purchasing tickets online, printing or showing an online screen shot of your ticket on a smart phone is all possible thanks to the inclusion of barcodes on those tickets. Mobile ticketing has become a popular and convenient means of saving and using tickets – they’re harder to lose when saved online, save paper, and they are conveniently saved on the mobile device you carry around everywhere you go.
Though most people associate barcodes with merchandise and purchasing, the fact that barcodes provide individuality (code, date, lot, location, etc.) to every single object opens the door to so many more possibilities, including the medical industry. Accurately identifying individuals is crucial when it comes to handling patients and their medications. Medical charts can be lost or misread, but scanning barcodes with patients’ medical information reduces human error by incorporating the use of this technology.
Yes, barcodes can even be used for gaming. With enough imagination, apparently you can turn anything into a game. Most of the games’ concepts revolve around scanning random barcodes to unlock monsters, spells, or weapons for battling.
Barcode Beasties (Android App) – scan barcodes to release monsters for battling. Holidays, like Halloween, have limited time monsters available for that day.
Barcode Wars (iTunes) – “Scan barcodes, fight monsters, battle for greatness! The Skeletal Dragon Abassy has released a horde of Monsters into the world.”
Skannerz UPC Scanner Game – a handheld game/scanner with screen and controller buttons to scan barcodes and release monsters.
These games use smart phone cameras or handheld gaming devices for scanning and playing. Though barcode gaming is not the most popular of games, there is a cult following of gamers who continue to seek new versions when systems become out of date or are no longer applicable with the current technology or OS.