Barcoding Inc.

July 30th, 2014

Could QR Codes End Homelessness?

If a homeless person asks you for change, even if you wanted to donate, you don’t always have actual cash.

At PayPal’s BattleHack, a 24 hour hack-a-thon, a team presented the idea to use QR codes and PayPal to donate to the homeless. The team placed third, ensuing that using QR codes and an app-based system, people would be able to give more money to the homeless rather than relying on their cash supply, which in many cases, is zero.

Hack-a-thons such as BattleHack are designed to encourage creativity and offer tech-based solutions to widespread problems.

However, I’m not sure how the logistics of this solution would work. Even if cards with printed QR codes assigned to a PayPal account were handed to the homeless, they would still need a way to access the money. In addition, in order to get actual cash, they would need to be able to transfer funds to a bank account.

While this solution definitely has the best in mind, I don’t think we’ll be scanning the homeless any time soon.

Do you think QR codes are a good way to donate to the homeless without cash?

Share your thoughts by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

July 29th, 2014

RFID Vending Machines Provide Fresh Food

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 5.50.39 PMFinding fresh food on the go isn’t always easy, but luckily, there’s RFID for that.

San Francisco-based startup PantryLabs recently started selling a smart vending machine—a sensor-based refrigerated vending machine that allows businesses to offer access to fresh food automatically, with the help of RFID.

The smart vending machine, Pantry, uses a built-in RFID reader to track the food inside via RFID tags affixed to the packaging.

Pantry was developed in order to prevent items from going out of stock, and also offer fresh food to workers and businesses that operate beyond traditional hours, when it might be difficult to obtain fresh food.

In addition to RFID, Pantry connects to a PantryLabs hosted server via Wi-Fi or a 3G network, allowing inventory data to be easily managed.

Pantry users simply apply a pre-encoded, unique ID number to each food item. The label’s ID is linked to the food item’s description and expiration date. Employees simply input the data into the software, the item is placed inside the machine, and the ID number is captured and stored automatically in the server’s software.

From there, food service operators can easily view inventory status and determine when products need to be restocked or removed. The software also offers analytics on which products sell the most, when they sell and on what day of the week. This information can be used to meet consumer demand and remove any unpopular items, maximizing sales.

Currently, there are 15 Pantry machines used by customers, but additional kiosks are expected to be shipped and installed by early 2015.

July 28th, 2014

ID Cards: Big Man on Campus

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.18.57 PMID cards aren’t just used for enterprise businesses, they’re used for campuses everywhere. ID cards can be used to:

  • Create a secure environment
  • Manage real-time access to residence halls
  • Provide mobile payment options at cafeterias, bookstores and other campus businesses.

Zebra Technologies provides these services as a part of their SMART campus solution. In fact, their solution was recently given a gold star by the National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU).

Did you know:

  • 84% of students do not use cash to purchase food
  • 55% of students use their ID cards to make purchases at the campus bookstore
  • 92% of residence halls built in 2011 used card access to enter the building

Learn more about the Zebra Technologies SMART campus.

July 23rd, 2014

Barcodes in the Operating Room

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 10.28.46 PMWe’ve all heard old urban legends about hospitals amputating the wrong leg, or perhaps even true stories of misdiagnosis due to clerical errors. In recent years, healthcare facilities have adopted the use of barcode labels, enabling staff to quickly, accurately and easily process samples and obtain patient information without worrying about misidentifications.

However, using barcode labels to identify tissues and samples taken during surgery is less common. In order to instantly tag samples immediately after they leave the body, the operating room would need to be equipped with labeling devices that could be safely sterilized numerous times throughout the day.

Luckily, Zebra healthcare printers can stand up to 45 of the most commonly used hospital cleaning agents. In addition to the need for sterilization, a power supply would be needed. Medical grade power supplies offer increased patient safety, which Zebra healthcare printers comply with.

Using Zebra healthcare printers ensures proper power supply and sterilization safety, allowing doctors and nurses to print barcode labels straight from the operation table, increasing efficiency and patient safety flow.

Learn more about the right healthcare printers for your needs.

July 21st, 2014

Could Mobile Payment Save QR Codes?

qr code mobile paymentDespite the fact that Masahiro Hara, the inventor of the QR code, predicted that the technology only has 10 years left to live, a recent report from Nielsen made a shocking discovery regarding mobile payments—people like using QR codes.

The study, released very shortly after Hara’s prediction, found that consumers who use mobile payment actually prefer using QR codes to barcodes. In fact, 45 percent of the nearly 4,000 consumers surveyed said they currently use QR codes to check out with their smartphones.

While mobile payments aren’t new, they have been gaining popularity in recent years. In fact, forty percent of those surveyed said that they use mobile apps of their primary method of payment.

So, will QR codes be able to save mobile payments? Personally, I think a lot is riding on whether or not Apple will include NFC in their next version of the iPhone.

What do you think? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.