From Amazon to Avocados, how barcodes are changing
Who would’ve thought a conversation between two shop workers in 1948 would lead to the creation of an electronic system which has touched the life of almost every person on planet Earth? Read about the future of barcodes and how it will affect you.
Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver overheard co-workers talking about their wish to have an electronic system to store stock information. It was after that conversation, Joseph and Bernard started working on the barcode.
However, the barcode has gone from scanning everyone’s weekly shop to tracking medical notes in the NHS or checking information about endangered trees in Liberia.
Glimpse the future of barcodes and how this longstanding technology will become more influential over the next few years.
The Amazon Dash Wand- Scanning Barcodes at home
As said earlier, barcodes are an important tool for businesses all over the world. But, Amazon have just created a product which will see us scanning barcodes in our homes to make our Amazon purchases a little easier.
The Amazon Dash Wand allows shoppers to add food to their Amazon Fresh shopping basket by scanning the barcode of the product.
Astute Amazon watchers will remind us that Amazon have released a barcode scanner before, but it was criticised for targeting a niche market.
But this time, Amazon have integrated its highly successful voice recognition Echo system (Alexa) to the wand.
Alexa can order items for you, tell you the nutritional value of food and pull up ingredients for recipes.
Unfortunately, only certain postcodes (128) in London have access to Amazon Fresh. So we might just have to wait a little longer for the Dash Wand.
Laser Printing Labels onto Fruit and Veg
Marks and Spencer’s have announced they will laser-print information directly onto avocados in a bid to save paper and glue.
The store says it will save 10 tonnes of paper and five tonnes of glue every year.
The laser-printing works by shining a light onto the avocado’s top layer of skin to discolour it. This means it will not bruise the fruit.
Avocados will be printed with the shop logo, country of origin, best before date and the product code.
Charlie Curtis, Marks and Spencer’s fruit technologist told the Telegraph: “Laser labelling is a brilliant way for us to reduce packaging and energy use.”
M&S are looking to add this technology to other fruit and veg in the near future.
Not so good for us here at Expert Labels – the more labels the better!
The Future of Barcodes in the NHS – Another Barcode Tracking System
By next year, the NHS will have installed a new system where GP Practises will bag and label records so they can track transferring patient’s record.
By next year, the NHS will run a new system which allows GP Practises to track a transferring patient’s record. But, it means all medical notes will need to be bagged and labelled separately before they are sent away.
The records will be collected and shipped by CitySprint who will scan each record. This allows staff to track the whereabouts of requested notes.
West Yorkshire practises have trialled the system this year which sees each record scanned at collection, distribution and delivery points.
This system was meant to be implemented last year. However, it was delayed as the NHS underestimated the number of notes which would need transferring.
Thinking about the future of barcodes in your organisation? Expert Labels have been working with barcodes since 1994. Contact us to find out how we can help you.