When we first go grocery shopping, as a kid, we always wondered what those black and white, think and thin lines indicated. A big puzzle eventually gets answered as we grow up. We now know that they are codes represented in the form of bars, a method for automatic identification and data collection. It has evolved from a punch card system, designed to speed the purchasing process, to the modern barcodes we see on every product imaginable. The rudimentary idea came from the Morse code.
The barcodes were first implemented in the year 1970. This invention would not have been possible if not for a food vendor. He realized how tedious it was to keep track of his inventory and their prices. This man got in touch with the Drexel Institute of Technology to find a solution for the inconvenience. Bernard Silver from the institute took it as a challenge and started to dig into the problem. With one of his students, Norman Joseph Woodland, help they concluded that the answer lied in UV rays scanner and ink. Woodland was trying to come up with simple symbols that would get translated into numbers when scanned, to identify a product. Its said that, Woodland was racking his brains thinking about Morse code and tracing circles in the sand when it finally hit him, the “bulls-eye”!