Invisible Barcodes: a Retail Revolution


Invisible Barcodes: a Retail Revolution

Invisible barcodes are the next big thing for consumers and retailers. They open up some amazing possibilities and, yes, they really are invisible to the naked eye.

Advantages of Invisible barcodes

What Is an Invisible Barcode?

A traditional 1D barcode stores data in the form of numbers and parallel lines. When scanned, the barcode provides data on cost, type of item, quantity and so on.

A new process has been developed which converts this data into minuscule dots by using an algorithm. The dots, or pixels, are printed using special UV ink that’s invisible to the naked eye. This has the effect of ‘embedding’ the barcode in the product rather like a watermark. This digital watermark can only be read using a special scanner, and the possible uses for this are very exciting.

Speed Up Check Out on the High Street

Invisible barcodes can be scanned from any angle, so they don’t need to be positioned in a precise spot on the product. The entire item can be covered in barcodes so it can swiftly scoot through the scanner, so there’s no wasted time spent locating and scanning one visible barcode. This dramatically increases the time it takes to check out when shopping.

Great for Sharing Extra Info

These barcodes can also be scanned with a specialised app to obtain additional product information, such as details about special offers and recommendations about similar products. This allows consumers to engage with their favourite brands in the same way that QR codes do today. It’s a two-way street of course, as this allows retailers to learn more about their customer’s habits and so enhance their experience with the brand.

Exciting New Designs

A visible barcode takes up space on packaging. An invisible barcode tucked away out of sight opens up all sorts of possibilities for creative and eye-catching new designs, as the total area of the product is available. In a world awash with consumer goods, this gives businesses a new potential to really make their products stand out from the crowd.

Preventing Counterfeits

In recent years, the growth of counterfeit goods has dramatically increased. Invisible barcodes are an excellent way of preventing illegal copying and protecting the integrity of your brand. Obviously, you can’t see them so they can’t be copied, and they can only be read using the right scanner or a specialised app.

This is welcome in every industry but is particularly essential in areas such as pharmaceutical and food, where the existence of fake goods has serious implications indeed.

Revolutionise Recycling

We’re all aware of the vital importance of recycling, but in many instances, the technology required is out-of-date, and hence inaccurate. There are times when all of us struggle to decide if a household item can be recycled or not, and we’re probably all guilty of putting things in the wrong bin on occasions. Invisible barcodes, together with the right smartphone app would solve this instantly, and it wouldn’t take a moment.

On a larger scale, it would dramatically increase speed and efficiency at recycling plants. At present, workers are often still necessary to visually identify certain items, all of which should be sorted according to their composite materials. With these details stored in an invisible barcode on the product, it can pass through a conveyor system and accurately scanned from any angle. Trials are already underway and the results are very encouraging indeed.

Your Business Needs Barcodes

Keep everything running smoothly with our range of label and barcode products. Call the friendly folk at Tanto Labels today to find out how.

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