The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode symbology that is widely used in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and in other countries for tracking trade items in stores.
UPC (technically refers to UPC-A) consists of 12 numerical digits, that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. Along with the related EAN barcode, the UPC is the barcode mainly used for scanning of trade items at the point of sale, per GS1 specifications. UPC data structures are a component of GTINs and follow the global GS1 specification, which is based on international standards. But some retailers (clothing, furniture) do not use the GS1 system (rather other barcode symbologies or article number systems). On the other hand, some retailers use the EAN/UPC barcode symbology, but without using a GTIN (for products, brands, sold at such retailers only).
1.1 IBM proposal
4.1 Number system digit
4.2 Check digit calculation
6 See also
8 External links
This article duplicates the scope of other articles, specifically, Barcode#History. Please discuss this issue on the talk page and edit it to conform with Wikipedia's Manual of Style. (December 2013)
Wallace Flint proposed an automated checkout system in 1932 using punched cards. Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland, a graduate student from Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University), developed a bull's-eye style code and applied for the patent in 1949 (US patent 2612994, Norman J. Woodland and Bernard Silver, "Classifying Apparatus and Method", issued October 7, 1952 ).
In the 1960s, railroads experimented with a multicolor barcode for tracking rail cars, but they eventually abandoned it.
A group of grocery industry trade associations formed the Uniform Grocery Product Code Council which with consultants Larry Russell and Tom Wilson of McKinsey & Company, defined the numerical format of the Uniform Product Code. Technology firms including Charegon, IBM, Litton-Zellweger, Pitney Bowes-Alpex, Plessey-Anker, RCA, Scanner Inc., Singer, and Dymo Industries/Data General proposed alternative symbol representations to the council. In the end the Symbol Selection Committee chose to slightly modify, changing the font in the human readable area, the IBM proposal designed by George J. Laurer.