Bologna, April 3, 2013 – The bar code celebrates its 40th birthday today. This groundbreaking invention was conceived by the outstanding minds of Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver, who, while studying Engineering at the University of Drexel, started to research ways to automate checkout operations for the president of a retail food company.
It took some time to obtain the modern structure of the bar code, but finally, on April 3, 1973 the bar code was born. Soon after, on June 26, 1974, the first live in –store bar code scan took place at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The product was a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum read by a Model A bar code scanner, the first in-counter bar code scanner in the world. The Model A and the pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum are now on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
The company that created the first characteristic sound recognized worldwide as a bar code reader “beep” was Spectra-Physics, now a part of the Datalogic Group. It’s this first “beep” that confirms Datalogic as a pioneer in the Automatic Data Capture industry and a market leader today.
During the time that has passed from the invention of the bar code, the Datalogic Group, with headquarters in Lippo di Calderara di Reno (Bologna), Italy, has become a leader in the sector, supplying its readers to over a third of the supermarkets and points of sale in the world, as well as to a third of the world’s airports, postal and shipping services.
Besides creating the first industrial scanner in 1978, Datalogic also was a pioneer in the creation of scanners for airports. The company installed the first of these types of scanners at the Linate airport in Milan, in 1984.
Datalogic arose from the passion of its founder and current President and CEO, Romano Volta, an engineer who was able to construct a series of successes that have continued for 40 years now, with this special anniversary celebrated in 2012. The results of this passion are represented in over 1,000 patents with important investments in Research and Development. Always focused on research as the motor that drives business, Datalogic continually invests about 7% of its revenues in R&D and has created the IP Tech division (Intellectual Property & Technology), a global platform for technology research.
Datalogic has been the European leader for industrial applications since the 1980’s, and now operates in 30 nations, selling products in 120 countries. It has consolidated relationships with the main operators in the retail, automotive, transportation & logistics, and postal & express shipping sectors worldwide, along with its 1,000 partners.
Customers of Datalogic are offered the most complete range of products and solutions for Automatic Data Capture (ADC) and Industrial Automation (IA) in the market.
In the ADC market, the Datalogic Group is the world leader regarding high performance fixed scanners for checkout counters in the retail sector, leader in EMEA for hand-held bar code scanners and a main player in the mobile computer market for warehouses and data collection at the point of sale.
This achievement is highlighted by Datalogic’s world presence for mobile solutions with over 400 self-shopping installations and POS scanner installations used by the world’s most prominent retailers, as well as its hand-held readers selected by over 30,000 customers.
In the Industrial Automation market, the Datalogic Group represents one of the largest producers of products and solutions for automatic identification, detection and marking in the world. These solutions respond to the ever growing need of tracking, inspection and recognition requirements in industrial and logistics environments. More than 1,000 reading stations active in over 100 airports confirm customer satisfaction for the quality and competitiveness offered by Datalogic’s innovation solutions.