The Barcode Turns 45

The Barcode Turns 45

July 20, 2019

June 26, 2019 marked the 45th anniversary of the barcode.

The barcode first appeared on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum that was scanned in Troy, Ohio at the Marsh Supermarket.  Barcodes are now an integral part of our lives, being scanned over 6 billion times each day.

The barcode was originally used in the supermarket industry to reduce checkout times, and improve accuracy.  Today, its uses extends beyond the checkout line. We use them for health care, supply chain management, admission to movie theaters, and driver’s licenses.  Despite its age, the barcode is still useful today.


Video Spotlight:  45th Anniversary of the Barcode’s Debut


This post is based on the PR Newswire article, GS1 US Celebrates the 45th Anniversary of the Barcode’s Debut in Retail, by GS1 US, June 24, 2019; videos and infographics celebrating the anniversary, history, and current state of barcodes by GS1 US, June 24, 2019; and the YouTube video, 45th anniversary of the Barcode’s Debut, by GS1 US, June 26, 2019. Image source: jamie_cross/123RF.

Discussion Questions: 

1. What are the benefits of barcodes?

Guidance: They reduce errors, are easy to use, inexpensive, and provide Continue reading

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IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA is partnering with Ori, an American startup, to offer robotic furniture that fits a bed, couch, desk, and storage in less than 115 square feet of space.

That’s an ideal solution for small apartment dwellers.  With a push of a button, a bed can slide under the unit or a desk can be retracted to open up floor spaces, turning limited quarters into smart spaces.


Video Spotlight: Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments


This post is based on the Engadget article, IKEA is working on robotic furniture for small apartments, by Christine Fisher, June 5, 2019; and the YouTube video, Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments, by NJ.com, December 22, 2017. Image source: Ingram Publishing

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors that drive IKEA to create a line of robotic furniture?

Guidance: Ori is a technology start-up that has designed furniture for modern living in very small spaces. Ikea wants to take advantage of the urban living trend where space is valuable and scarce, and people struggle with the challenge of small apartment living.

2. What is the operational significance of IKEA’s robotic furniture?

Guidance: The robotic furniture represents IKEA’s latest innovation in Continue reading

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