THE FUTURE OF BARCODE LABELS
Some analysts argue that in the not so distant future, barcode labels will be different. Products will still have labels, but information on these labels will travel through the air to reach specially designed machines that will process it. This technology already exist, it is called Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID. Its purpose is to transfer information between products and outlets in the blink of an eye. Signals travel through the air and are instantly processed by a machine. For example, with traditional barcode labels, the cashier needs to process every product in the shopping cart one by one, to finally after several minutes, tell the customer the total amount to pay. With this new radio frequency barcode labels, this process will take just a couple of seconds. Customers will go into an archway, where special detectors will be placed, and the machine will tell the total amount to pay, avoiding the need to unload the products from the shopping cart. It is even possible to achieve total integration by eliminating completely some human jobs, thus charging the amount of the purchase directly to credit or debit cards.
As we can see barcode labels have not experienced their total evolution yet. The proof is that retail and logistic companies are investing in research and development to finally find the way to use this innovative technology into their business processes. Radio frequency barcode labels are already been used in some prototype projects all around the world to test their efficiency and efficacy, so it is possible that some day in the future, when we go to the supermarket, we won’t have to wait several minutes in a queue in front of the cashier to pay for our goods. That would be great, because normally people hate to wait in queues.