March 2, 2014

New bar-code technology breaks world speed record for retail scanning

Guinness World Records confirms that Digimarc's digital-watermark bar code has toppled the previous record.

By DC Velocity Staff

When it comes to Guinness World Records, most of us don't think of logistics-related achievements. But it turns out, the curator of records on everything from the greatest athletic feats to the world's largest pizza has a category that's right up our alley: fastest bar-code scanning.

The new scanning champion is Digimarc, which unveiled a unique digital-watermark bar code at the 2014 National Retail Federation convention in New York. Using the new bar code and Datalogic ADC's Magellan 9800i multiplane image scanner, two Digimarc executives—who swore they had no professional grocery checking or bagging experience—set a new world record for scanning and bagging 50 grocery items. With a Guinness adjudicator observing closely, the team correctly scanned and bagged all 50 items (including a copy of the book Guinness World Records 2014) in 48.15 seconds—easily beating the previous record of 75 seconds.

Digimarc's bar-code technology allows an imperceptible pattern to be embedded into the images and graphics on printed consumer packaged goods, and in some cases, directly into the packaging material itself. The company says the bar code contains the same global trade identification number (GTIN) data as the corresponding universal product code (UPC). The data are invisibly repeated over the entire surface of the package, eliminating the need for clerks or shoppers using self-checkout to find and position the bar code toward the reader.

Datalogic says its Magellan 9800i is the only retail scanner currently equipped to read the Digimarc bar code, which can also be read by smartphones and certain other digital imaging devices.

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