Every once in a while a great invention comes along that totally transforms the way we go about performing everyday tasks. One such invention is the barcode. Based on configurations of lines of a varying thickness, barcodes have offered an extremely useful way of transmitting data specific to any object to an optical scanner since the mid-20th Century.
We’ve all seen plenty of barcode scanners in our day-to-day lives, at all kinds of retail outlets. It’s only in recent years however, that barcode scanning technology has become widely available to the average person, at home or on the go, through improvements in technology utilising web cams and smartphone technology. This innovation has offered a huge number of benefits to users. Let’s run through our top 5 ways in which bar code scanners are making life easier for regular people, right now:
1 Conveniently valuing and selling goods - The last thing anyone needs is an unnecessary journey of several kilometers - and even further for country folk - for the sake of visiting a store to find out how much their unwanted games, CDs or DVDs are worth. musicMagpie’s use of barcode scanner technology offers the far more attractive alternative of simply letting you scan the barcode of the product in question using your webcam, before letting you know how much it is worth and giving you the option to sell it. Visit www.musicmagpie.com to test this out. The days of bartering with tight-fisted video store owners are far behind us, and the cash value of your bar-coded goods is now just a scan away.
2 Paperless instruction manuals - An ever-growing number of electronic and household goods now come with a barcode subtly incorporated into their design or packaging. These barcodes lead users to a digital instruction manual explaining how to operate or configure the relevent product. Users are able to use shortcuts to search for key words in these documents, allowing for instructions to be found more easily than ever before. Digital manuals are obviously far harder to lose than physical ones and the benefits to the environment are clear, with no paper being used up in their manufacture.
3 Linking objects to the internet - Through scanning barcodes attached to objects - often incorporated into packaging - we can now access web links relating to the product in question. These links often direct users to special promotions, add-ons and bonus content, providing users with a fuller, more immersive experience. Barcode links can be used to enrich content in a variety of mediums, including newspapers and magazines.
4 Comparing prices locally - Several smartphone apps have been developed which allow users to scan the barcodes of products in the high street and view details of how these goods are priced in other local or online outlets. These applications empower consumers with the knowledge of whether or not they’re getting the best deal possible.
5 Securing healthy diets - Believe it or not, barcode scanners can be a key tool in ensuring your diet is a healthy one. Numerous apps now on the market allow users to scan the barcodes of food products, access nutritional information and consider the foodstuff as part of a diet plan. This hugely simplifies the process of keeping your calorie count under control.
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