How Barcodes Changed the World

Zebra thermal printers

It is difficult to think back to a time when we were not ruled by technology, and where monetary transactions were more difficult than the simple swipe of a card. However, before smart phones and tablets, bar code scanners were considered to be an incredibly ground breaking technological advancement.

The first item ever scanned at a retail checkout with a UPC bar code was at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The item, a 10 pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum, was scanned at 8:01 a.m. on June 26, 1974, however, as Wallace Flint proposed an automated checkout system involving the use of punched cards as early as 1932.

While the idea of asset tracking, (physically tracking assets through a supply chain) seems relatively straight forward to the average consumer waiting in line, there is more to it than you think. Two methods of asset tracking exist, which are RFID (radio frequency identification), and bar code scanning.

A bar code scanner, also known as a bar code reader, uses a light source, a lens and a light sensor to translate optical impulses into electrical ones for the purpose of gathering and analyzing data from a bar code. Data is then input into a computer, and tallies the total. With the inventions of such products such as the zebra barcode printer, transactions are as simple as a swipe of the product across the scanner. Your receipt is then printed using zebra thermal printers, or zebra label printers. Zebra barcode printers are what allows for an instantaneous receipt, and what keeps consumer transactions both quick and efficient.

As you may have imagined, the consumer goods industry is booming, totaling at over $60 billion dollars last year alone. With the help of the zebra bar code thermal printer, consumer traffic is able to move more quickly and efficiently.

While most of us take for granted things like zebra barcode printers, and the technology that gets us so quickly in and out of the grocery store, it is highly advanced, and without it, consumer transactions would operate at a significantly difficult level. Zebra barcode printers have allowed for a dramatic shift from the one used to scan a pack of gum in 1932, essentially changing the way and rate at which vendors are able do business. Who knows, without zebra printers, we may still be using punch cards, or bartering with silver pieces.

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