A Very Short History of Bar Code Which may or may not apply to RFID
Obstacles – Chicken & Egg • Return on investment for the retailer required source marking by the manufacturer • It took 4.6 years for manufacturers to provide UPC symbols on 75% of pre-packaged items sold in supermarkets
Obstacles – Item Price Marking • Controversy over the removal of price stickers on individual items • Retail unions & consumer advocates • Unfavorable publicity about price errors at the point of sale • State and local legislation required item price marking
Obstacles - Superstition • A Satanic plot - 666 This was a real book! Analogous to RFID privacy concerns 6 6 6
Obstacles – Patent Litigation • Bilgutay vs. Uniform Code Council • Lawsuits between scanner manufacturers • Lemelson vs. end user companies • $1,500,000,000 collected in license fees • 2001 - Symbol Technologies & others filed suit against Lemelson • 2004 - Federal court declares Lemelson claims invalid and unenforceable
Number of scanning stores in the US & Canada 0 6 45 111 210 432
Positive publicity - 1978 Fortune Magazine Wall Street Journal
Positive publicity - 1982 Fortune Magazine
Other Significant Bar Code Mandates US Automobile Industry US DOD 1983/4 These mandates together with UPC and EAN sharply accelerated market growth.
Subsequent Progress • Bar code replaced OCR in fashion retail • International Symbology Standards • Verification developed & standardized • 2 dimensional bar codes • Ultimately bar code spread world wide to every facet of retail, distribution, and manufacturing
RFID – my opinion RFID will take root and flourish, not by replacing bar code, but by solving those problems wherein it provides the superior solution.