The Revolution of Barcodes: From Invention to Modern Use

TLDR Norman Woodland's invention of barcodes in the 1940s paved the way for a revolutionary system that automated inventory management. Barcodes gained popularity in the 1980s, resulting in cost savings for retailers and increased sales, and QR codes emerged as a more versatile alternative for sharing information.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Norman Woodland's invention of barcodes revolutionized the world of retail and logistics.
02:07 The need for a system to automatically read and manage inventory led to the invention of the modern barcode by Norman Woodland and Bernard Silver in the 1940s.
03:55 The first iteration of the barcode was a circle that could be read in any direction, but it was an idea ahead of its time and little was done with it until technology caught up 20 years later.
05:51 Barcodes began to gain popularity in the early 1980s when big retail chains like Kmart and Sears started using them, resulting in cost savings for supermarkets and an increase in sales.
07:49 A UPC code consists of 12 numbers, with 11 of the numbers used to identify a company and a product, allowing for a maximum of 100 billion unique UPC codes to be created.
09:50 A UPC barcode consists of 15 sections, including guard lines and actual UPC numbers, with the left numbers starting with 0 and the right numbers starting with 1, and the 12th digit serving as a checksum.
11:42 QR codes can encode far more information than regular one-dimensional barcodes, making them more suitable for sharing website URLs, and the information about a product associated with a UPC barcode is stored in a database.
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