Behind the Bars

All the technology we are so utterly surrounded by these days can still be as unfamiliar to us as a language we have never heard before. Barcodes, for example – we all see them every day whether we are aware of it or not. They are everywhere, but DID YOU KNOW there are many different types of barcodes? No? You’re not alone, trust us! We’re going to take you behind the bars and show you what life is like behind those familiar, yet unfamiliar, barcode symbologies.

Assortment of white barcoded labels Let us first explain a little bit about what barcode symbologies even are. Think of a barcode like it is a wine. There is more than one type of wine available out there. Maybe when wine was first created it all tasted alike, but as wine-making evolved, so did people’s tastes, and now there are wines that are paired strictly with red meats, or desserts, or fish, etc.

Barcode symbologies are very similar in the sense that they are used as standards for various industries such as: healthcare, grocery and retail, manufacturing, etc. Over time, barcodes evolved to solve specific problems, making them sometimes unique to certain industries. A few types of barcodes include : UPC/EAN, Code 39, Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5, Postnet, and PDF417. Do you know in what industries those symbologies are most commonly used? Let’s play a little game and see if you can match them up!

1. PDF417
2. Postnet
3. Interleaved 2 of 5
4. Code 128
5. Code 39
A. Retail & Food
B. Property ID & Inventory Control
C. Medical & Shipping
D. Warehousing & Manufacturing
E. United States Postal Service
F. Transportation & Government

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If you want to go further behind bars – keep coming back to our blog and newsletter as we update them both weekly and monthly. You can also look through our past blog articles as well!

Answer Key