History of the Barcode

The UPC barcode debuted in 1974, but its genesis dates to the 1940s, when retailers began dreaming of more efficiencies. Find out how the barcode helped retailers scale in the 1980s, as well as providing them with valuable banks of sales data. Then, in 1995, an Oregon ‘Mad Scientist’ invented a technology that set the groundwork for connected packaging and new opportunities for operational efficiencies and consumer engagement. In time, the barcode was ‘heard,’ but not seen.

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Chapter One:

Birth of the Barcode

The invention of the barcode involved colorful characters and see why it holds crucial clues about retail's future.

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Chapter Two:

The Barcode Comes of Age

The barcode faced a challenging childhood in the 1970s, but soon matured, and fueled the rise of mass merchandisers.

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Chapter Three:

The Barcode & Beyond

Find out how the rise of e-commerce, QR codes and an Oregon 'Mad Scientist' helped shape the barcode universe of today and tomorrow.

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