What Are Those Fancy Bar Codes?

What Are Those Fancy Bar Codes?

What Are Those Fancy Bar Codes?

60056-qr.pngBar codes help make life easier from manufacturing all the way through the supply chain, and up to the check-out register. While you're shopping for products, you can look for better deals and more information by scanning traditional UPCs with your phone, an app, and an internet connection. Pretty cool, right?

Something new that you may have seen cropping up on billboards, articles, advertisements, and even product displays and packaging is a new kind of bar code, a 2D barcode.  These new 2D barcodes are also called a QR code which is short for quick response.

UPCs are a 1D (one-dimensional) type of bar code. Traditionally, a laser is used to illuminate a thin stripe across the barcode. A 2D barcode contains multiple lines of information and require multiple lasers to read. Since not many of us carry lasers around in our pockets, there are apps for smartphones that take their place. iPhone users might be interested in an app called Red Laser, and Android users should look for Barcode Scanner by Zxing. Both of these free apps allow you to "scan" multiple formats of bar codes using your phone's camera.

But why the new codes? Unlike UPCs, 2D barcodes can contain text, a phone number, a "business card", a coupon, can ask if you want to send a text message (for contest entries, voting for contestants, and other fun stuff), and can even contain a URL to a web page or video. It's the latter that's really cool. 

Imagine you're in a store, comparing products, and you just can't make a decision. One product has a 2D bar code, the other does not. You pull out your phone, scan the 2D code, and within seconds you're watching an informational video about the product, or maybe even a how-to-assemble video. Making that decision is now a lot easier, and a lot cooler.

At Lifetime, we’re starting to put 2D codes on some of our packaging and store signage on several of our products like our sheds and storage boxes. If you scan the codes while you’re in the store, you can watch how-to video instructions to see how easy it is to assemble products.  Go ahead and give it a try with the code in this blog and see what you find!  Yep, it even works when you scan it on a computer monitor.  And, keep your eyes peeled because you'll start to notice these codes everywhere now that you know what they are!

Joe

Joe

Name: Joe

Position at Lifetime Products: Web Developer. What does that mean? I work with the rest of the web team to put great designs into industry standard HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET MVC, and use other techno-jargon stuff to help our customers find what they're looking for, learn about our products, and have a fun time doing it.

Social Networks: 

How long at Lifetime Products: Since November 2005

Background: You’ve always wanted to know who on earth Joe is, and even if you haven't we're going to tell you anyway! He was born in Weber County, Utah, USA. He is a descendant of Paiute (Native American) heritage and is a member of the Kanosh (Utah) Band. He is a member of various community, church, and civic organizations, and is actively involved with local, state, and national government. He is concerned with customer service and is striving to educate businesses concerning proper “consumer etiquette”. Joe is a Thawte Web of Trust Notary and is involved with seamless Digital Signatures utilizing Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and similar technologies. He is a husband and father. He rides his recumbent bicycle to work every day. He enjoys gardening, houseplants, mobile computing, camping, authoring web sites, working in the yard, and spending time with his family. How does he do it all? We really don’t have the foggiest. Some have suspected he’s discovered the secrets of cold fusion, while others think he may be an android. We may never know for certain.

My favorite Lifetime Products: Lifetime Yard cart, outdoor sheds, camp tables, and picnic tables

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