Barcode – graphic information applied to the surface, marking or packaging of products, allowing the requisite information to be read via technical means – a sequence of black and white stripes or other geometric shapes.
Historically, the EAN / UPC code is most commonly used in trading. Originally, the US UPC system was developed, containing 12 digits for the encoding of the product, and it gained such popularity that European countries began paying attention to it. However, an entire range of codes was already being used to encode goods of the USA and Canada, and the firms were exclusively registered in the USA. The developers of the European encoding system EAN-13 faced a serious task – to extend the range of codes and organise an independent US registration system, ensuring maximum compatibility with UPC encoding. The solution was to add the thirteenth digit to the leftmost position (it is usually indicated by the Arabic digit to the left of the barcode) using 12 digital templates, just as in the UPC. At the same time, it was possible to maintain the backward compatibility of EAN-13 with the UPC coding – which became a subset of the EAN-13 coding with the first digit 0.
The EAN-13 code, from the point of view of encoding, can be conditionally divided into 5 zones:
They don’t. It’s not necessary. What matters is the unique code, and it’s this code that’s written entirely within the database of a trading enterprise. The exception to this is codes starting with a deuce, where an enterprise can encrypt its own logic for the product. Barcodes are widely used in the automation of the trade sector, especially with big retailers. All the identity criteria, such as ID, names of the goods and prices, can be programmed to be read by the equipment using the barcode.