What is a barcode?
Barcode is an automatic identification technology. It allows data to be collected accurately and rapidly.
A barcode symbol consists of a series of parallel, adjacent bars and spaces. Predetermined width patterns are used to code actual data into the symbol. To read information contained in a barcode symbol, a scanning device, such as a fixed or handheld reader, is used to scan/read the barcode. The reader analyses the symbol, the Barcode width pattern of bars and spaces by the bar code decoder, in or linked to the scanning device, and the original data is recovered.
There are different barcode types/symbology and standards. There types and standards for specific applications and used in specific industries.
Bar codes are like a printed version of the Morse code. Different bar and space patterns are used to represent different characters. Sets of these patterns are grouped together to form a "symbology". There are many types of bar code symbologies each having their own special characteristics and features. Most symbologies were designed to meet the needs of a specific application or industry.
What a barcode is used for
A barcode is used to quickly and accurately record data. It effectively replaces the reading and typing or writing down of numbers. The data carried by a barcode is typically a reference number which in term links the related information of the item to which the barcode is attached or linked. This number is then linked to a system where is processed like manual entered data would be processed.
Sample of barcode types used