GS1 Australia Blog

All about barcodes

Maria palazzolo
By Maria Palazzolo
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

What are the origins of the barcode?

The origin of the barcode goes back over 50 years to April 3rd 1973. On this day, several retail leaders around the globe got together to select a single global standard for barcodes. The goal was to automate the process of scanning products at point-of-sale to make it more efficient and accurate.

It has now been 50 years since that decision was made and the barcode has really changed the way we go shopping at the supermarket and beyond. I remember going shopping in the early days with my mum, having to wait for the operator to manually process all the products we were buying and you’d have to wait in line for a very long time. Today, we just fly through the checkout, often scanning ourselves, without giving it a second thought.