You never noticed barcodes – now they really are invisible!

January 2, 2013
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barcode labelsFor some time now on Tanto we have reported how  humble barcodes have grown from being a simple inventory tool to being used in almost any industry you can think of.

Barcodes have more than one use in industry

Far from being just an application to keep tabs on stock or enhance checkout processes in  retail  outlets, it has a myriad of uses.  From the health service, to funeral directors, farming and education, barcodes are becoming the essential cog in innovative machinery.  Just like the pentium chip in the computer, or the cats eye in the road, it seems its uses are only restricted by the boundaries of man’s inventive imagination.

Now you see me…

Barcode news reported this week how QR codes have been developed to make them a great force for the future in cutting down fraud and counterfeiting.  We hardly notice barcodes anyway they have so stealthily moved into the fabric of all of our lifestyles. They are just there – let alone understand them. Well, now they are truly invisible.

The new technology allows the QR code to be printed invisibly onto paper, glass and a flexible plastic film, and only becomes visible only under infra-red light. For some years there has always been a fail-safe in checking our money to ensure that it is real and not counterfeit.  This is done by holding it up to the light to view the “motion thread” to  ensure it is genuine.

Fighting fraudulent products

The QR code works in the same way but on all kinds of fabrics and all types of products. A mobile phone will be able to read the code and know if the document or item (i.e. a Ted Baker or a Rolex watch) is authentic. The fact that the QR code is invisible is also beneficial because it does not affect the appearance of the item on which it is printed.

This sounds a great way to ensure that we are not handing out a great deal of cash for fake products that imitate big name brands. But perhaps more importantly, it is surely only the tip of the iceberg. If you can make Barcodes invisible then this must open many more gateways in the everyday barcode world let alone the wider criminal arena of fraud and counterfeiting.

 

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