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 6 66 This was a real book! Analogous to RFID privacy concerns
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 0645111210432
Positive publicity - 1978 Fortune MagazineWall Street Journal
Other Significant Bar Code Mandates 1983/4 US DOD US Automobile Industry 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.