Since the first use of barcodes in the 1970's, society has dramatically changed. We now live in an age of endless information.
As consumers become more educated with information about where and how the items they purchase are created, purchasing habits have changed. However, the information that packaging and labeling provides is oftentimes still not enough.
Enter the barcode. For many years, barcodes have been somewhat one-dimensional. They are used as top-level identifiers.
Consumers now want to use their smartphones to read more granular information about the products they purchase, though. Currently, barcodes do not meet this need.
That's why many of the world's top retailers are joining forces to reinvent the barcode, in a way that will allow for unprecedented levels of information and transparency at the point of purchase.
According to Independent.co.uk, "GS1, a non-profit organisation that assigns the unique numbers in barcodes, has developed a double-layered barcode it calls the 'data bar' which can carry some extra details such as expiry date, quantity, batch or lot number."
This is the first step towards creating an evolved barcode that will allow concerned consumers to scan standardized information about the products they are purchasing.