A new mini barcode will help manufacturers keen to share more information with trading partners without investing in radio frequency identification technology (RFID), according to standards body GS1.
GS1 last week set a global adoption date of January 2010 for the new barcode, which uses Reduced Space Symbology (RSS).
The RSS barcodes are less than half the size of normal barcodes, and unlike the standard variety, can carry additional information such as serial numbers, lot numbers and expiry dates. These can support product authentication and traceability initiatives, product quality assurance, variable measure product identification, and the handling of coupons.
They are also ideal for small products, enabling manufacturers to reclaim space on packaging for design purposes or to provide more consumer information, said Andrew Osborne, chief technical officer at GS1 UK. “RSS is a simple solution for trading partners looking for advanced information sharing who cannot justify the investment in RFID yet.”
The adoption date of 2010 sets the goal for bar code systems to be capable of scanning RSS bar codes and processing the additional information, he said. “GS1 UK will provide support and guidance to end-users over the next three years to help prepare for the transition.”
The new, smaller codes would probably co-exist alongside standard barcodes for the foreseeable future, he added.