Barcodes are everywhere. We see them every single day whether we notice them or not. On almost every item we buy from any shop, you can guarantee that there’s a barcode attached so that it can be scanned and identified. But did you know that barcodes have far more applications than just supermarkets?
In fact, there are plenty of weird and unusual places you can find barcodes being used. Here are just seven unexpected places where you can discover barcodes:
1. QR Codes on Gravestones
Did you know that you can get a QR code for your loved one’s grave? Why? Well, to preserve their memory in the form of a website. The idea is that a QR code that has been attached to a grave can be scanned by a smartphone, and that person is directed to a webpage set up in honour of the deceased.
It acts as a biography for the departed, where family members can add photos, videos or anything they like to remember them by. It is believed that the technology will help to keep a loved one’s story alive for future generations.
2. Barcodes on Bees
Researchers have been attaching teeny tiny QR codes to bumblebees to track their movements. This system, known as BEEtag, uses cameras to automatically monitor hundreds of bees 24/7 to expose their personalities and interactions. They are specifically looking to find out how worker bees know how to switch jobs within the hive, such as jumping in to collect food when a designated forager dies.
As the decline in bee population hits crisis levels, it is hoped that systems like this can help us gain a better understanding of bee behaviours, including abnormal behaviour resulting from threats from pesticide use.
Bumble Bees now have their own barcoding system called “Beetag”. pic.twitter.com/M9D8iqHHWH
— Seeker (@Seeker) October 24, 2018
3. Nutrition Apps
Barcodes on food products have been scanned in shops for decades, but did you know that you can scan food with your phone at home? Some nutrition apps, such as Lose It, have introduced this feature to help users track their calorie intake and nutrition.
The idea is simple, someone with the app uses their smartphone to scan the food label of what they’ve just eaten, and this uploads the nutritional information associated with that food label to the app. This gives the user a more accurate idea of how many calories they’ve consumed, as well as the general health and nutritional value of their diet.
4. Recruiting Tattoo Artists
A tattoo shop in Turkey made headlines when it teamed up with an advertising agency to create a unique advert for a new tattoo artist. To apply for the position, job applicants had to show off their inking skills by carefully filling out a blank QR code on a printed ad. The code would only be scannable if filled in correctly, and it would take applicants to the application form needed for the position. It was certainly a creative and unique way to ensure the shop only received applicants from people up to the delicate art of tattooing.
5. On Recycling Bins
A US company, RecycleBank, are using barcodes on recycling bins to provide an incentive to encourage people to recycle. The barcode is embedded in the bin and scanned when collected for recycling, this then translates the value of the recycled items in the bin into a dollar amount which can then be redeemed through shopping vouchers for people that participate.
6. Bringing Art to Life
The Sukiennice Museum in Poland has found a way to increase the level of interactivity visitors can have with the art pieces in their displays with QR codes. By scanning the codes on their smartphones, visitors can learn more about the history of a piece by watching actors playing the parts of the subjects of the paintings. The project even included interactive billboards so people could contact the paintings outside of the museum.
The interactivity has shown to broaden the museum experience and is so popular that, for the first few months after its introduction, tickets to the museum became difficult to obtain.
7. On Lost Pets
Pet owners can create their very own QR codes to include on their beloved pet’s collar. While a pet’s name and their owner’s phone number have been included on collars for a long time in the form of engravings, there isn’t a lot of space to work with. With QR codes, owners can add as much information as they like, such as their name and address, so if their beloved pooch goes missing, someone can scan their collar and find out how to return them home.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the unusual uses for barcodes. If you own a business and are looking to enhance your stock control, consider barcode labels from GSM Barcoding. We can provide you with complete asset tracking systems including asset labels, barcodes, printers and software. Contact us today for more information.