Since its invention in early 1950s, bar code technology has accelerated the flow of products and information within a business and between businesses. As a result of improvements in data accuracy that accompanies the adoption of bar code technology over conventional keyboard data entry, bar code systems have become critical elements in conducting business in today’s national and global economies. Bar code technology comprises of the following components:
- Symbolizes that encode data that can be optically read by bar code readers.
- Printing technologies that produce machine-readable symbols.
- Scanners and decoders that capture visual images of the symbolizes and convert them to computer-compatible digital data, and the verifiers that validate symbol quality.
There are many different bar code symbolizes, or languages. Each symbolize has its own rules for character (e.g. letter, number, punctuation) encoding, printing and decoding requirements, error checking, and other features.
The various bar code symbolizes differ both in the way they represent data and in the type of data they can encode: some only encode numbers; others encode numbers, letters, and a few punctuation characters; still others offer encoding of the 128-character, and even 256-character, ASCII sets.