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Barcodes, Inc. 1st Annual Book Drive for Open Books

Posted July 14, 2017

Barcodes, Inc. held a friendly competition all for a great cause. The point of the competition pitted department against department, all in an effort to see who could collect the most books during the company’s 1st annual book drive. At the end of the competition, Barcodes, Inc. collected a total of 260 books to donate to Open Books.

Open Books is a nonprofit organization that looks to provide literacy experiences for tens of thousands of readers each year. Through their instructional programs they cultivate the literacy skills of thousands of children and youth each year, from those who need intervention to those who desire enrichment. Through their book programs they provide readers of all ages with engaging, appropriate, and high-quality books. Open Books delivers thousands of books to schools and nonprofits across the Chicagoland area each week.


Panasonic Toughbook Helping Fight Crime

Posted July 10, 2017

toughbook-31The Panasonic Toughbook 31 is more than just a reliable laptop equipped with Intel Core i5 and i3 processors. The leader in fully rugged design is also being used by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in their roll out of new police squad cars. The new squad cars will be used to help reduce the gun violence in the city of Chicago and the Toughbook 31 will be lending a helping hand.

The rugged laptop computer will come equipped with ShotSpotter app, an app that will instantly alert law enforcement personnel of gunfire. Each alert will provide crucial information for each incident including: incident time, number of rounds, and the location of the incident with a highlighted evidence search area. Along with the ShotSpotter app the Toughbook 31 will also have real-time crime mapping, police databases, and electronic crash reporting.

The first roll out of the new CPD squad cars will feature 40 vehicles and should reach a total of 550 vehicles patrolling the street come early next year. All to help keep the streets of Chicago safe.


RFID for your Cat

Posted August 7, 2015

When you think about RFID one of your first thoughts probably isn’t how it can benefit your pet cat. Many pets today have an RFID chip in them for identification purposes but beyond that, the technology doesn’t really come into play in their day to day lives.

Ben Milliam realized that he could enhance his cat’s general curiosity and ‘mobile’ hunting drive with the aid of some RFID tagged wiffle balls and a modified electronic feeder he embedded an RFID reader in. Now his cat, Monkey, gets a taste of being an outdoor ‘hunting’ cat in the comforts of home.

You can find a detailed breakdown of Ben’s process and how be built everything on his site.

Filed under: Barcode Fun,RFID
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Store Clerk Defends Himself Against Robber With Barcode Scanner

Posted February 6, 2015

FamilyMart-Convenience-storeThe uses for a barcode scanner may be quite varied but being used as a weapon to defend your business against a robber has got to be the most daring of all.

This story starts at a Family Mart convenience store in Osaka, Japan at 4am when a young male in his 20’s comes in and asks the 41-year-old clerk for a pack of cigarettes. According to the clerk’s statement, while he was behind the register scanning the barcode on the cigarette pack, the customer pulled out a knife and a bag. The customer-turn-robber threatened the clerk with the knife and demanded the money from the register be emptied into the bag.

While Japan is a very safe country with almost no gun usage, larger cities do have instances of robbery and theft most commonly with the use of a knife.

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Jingle Bells with Barcode Scanners

Posted December 22, 2014

Edeka, a grocery retailer from Germany, found a a very creative way to get into the holiday spirit with the use of their in-counter scanners at their checkout lanes. Scanners all have the means to produce audio feedback for positive scans which, in many models, can be customized to specific pitches or sounds. Edeka put these programmable tones to use to make all their checkout lanes into a ‘playable’ instrument. Each lane plays a specific pitch so with a little practice their reps could perform Jingle Bells by simply scanning products in the right sequence.


Happy Thanksgiving from BarcodesInc!

Posted November 26, 2014

2014-11-26_0935Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that we have with friends and family. All of us at BarcodesInc would like to wish everyone a happy and joy filled Thanksgiving.

Our offices will be closed on Thursday the 27th and we will be shipping orders again starting on Monday December 1st.


Musical Barcode Tattoos

Posted October 17, 2014

We’ve seen a lot of interesting applications for barcodes but this might be one of the most interesting uses. In the video below you can see how artist Dmitry Morozov took his  8″ x 3″ barcode tattoo and turned it into music.  He modded a scanner with two black-line sensors, a stepper motor, and a Nintendo Wii remote to ‘read’ his tattoo and convert it into sound. The length of each bar dictates the duration of the sound and if he moves his arm, the Wii’s accelerometer detects the shift and distorts the tone. Definitely one of the most experimental uses of barcodes in art we’ve come across.


Disney Makes a Game out of Working in a Grocery Store: Barcode Scanning for Fun

Posted July 18, 2014

159f0d5c-5396-468f-80c4-4da6869b66c5Ever worked as a check-out clerk in a grocery store?

Disney’s Checkout Challenge for Windows mobile devices captures the experience in a very convincing way. In this fast paced game you collect groceries and scan them in as quickly and accurately as possible for the highest score. Start training to improve your barcode scanning skills to become Checkout Chairman!

The app is currently available through the Windows Phone Store.


40 Year Anniversary of the First Barcode Scan

Posted June 26, 2014

Juicy Fruit gumToday marks the 40 year anniversary of the first scan of a GS1 barcode in a retail environment – which all started with a pack of Wrigley Juicy Fruit gum at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio on June 26, 1974!

No one could have ever expected how a simple technology like the barcode would go on to shape and mold the retail landscape. The familiar beep of the scanner is now heard around the world up to six billion times a day!

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Making Music From Barcodes

Posted February 7, 2014

Motivated by the typical beeps and tones of a POS barcode  scanner, Košice-based artist Jakub Pišek decided to develop a way to make music with the same tools being employed in retail stores. With the help of some of his friends, Jakub started staging grocery store performance where they would scan anything in the store to create music. Each different barcode equates to a variety of sounds which can be composed in the moment by simply scanning. See the performances in action in the video below.


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