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What is a barcode and how is it used?

Barcodes are simple symbols of codable information that can be read by computers and similar devices. More technically speaking, it is a collection of black lines of different thicknesses arranged side by side. An example of a barcode is shown below:


The barcode is a symbol that we can find almost everywhere today. You can see barcodes on magazines, cigarettes, biscuits, chewing gum, computers and many other products. The barcode was originally created to make it easier for computers and similar devices to read the coding. Barcode readers are used to transfer barcode information to the computer. These barcode readers scan the barcode lines, decode the coding system and transfer the code to the computer.

Although the first barcode patent was obtained in 1949, it started to be actively used intensively after 1980 due to the lack of widespread use of computer systems. The first standard barcode was created in 1968. The widely used EAN code standard was created only in 1976. The EAN standard has led to the creation of a barcode type that we can often see on a product today.

The barcode has many standards. These standards are set by international organizations for printing and reading the barcode. EAN is the most common standard used in Europe and in our country. There are coding such as country code, company code in EAN code. The EAN code is given by the Goods Numbering Center within the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in Turkey.

EAN is not the only barcode standard. EAN was created to bring standard barcoding to products sold mostly at retail. In this way, the numbering process is carried out under the control of a center and product barcodes can be differentiated.

There are many barcode standards such as Code 128, Code 39, UPC. You can find the features of these standards in the Barcode Standards section.

Barcodes do not only consist of straight lines. There are two-dimensional barcodes called 2D. Thanks to this coding system, hundreds of characters of information can fit in a barcode. An example 2D barcode is given below. There are many standards in 2D barcodes. With 2D Barcode, you can keep all the identity information of a personnel, all the information of the patient in clinical applications, the stages of the product in production.


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