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Thursday 18 September 2014

Co-inventor of the barcode dies

Published 13/12/2012 | 17:54

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Barcode technology did not catch on until the 1970s

The co-inventor of the barcode, that labels nearly every product in stores, has died.

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The death of Norman Joseph Woodland, who was 91, was confirmed by his daughter, Susan Woodland.

She said he died on Sunday in Edgewater, New Jersey, from the effects of Alzheimer's disease and complications of advanced age.

Mr Woodland and Robert Silver were students at Philadelphia's Drexel University when Mr Silver overheard a grocery store executive asking an administrator to support research on how product information could be captured at checkouts.

The pair earned a patent in 1951 with Mr Woodland's idea to create a shape of concentric circles.

The technology did not catch on until the 1970s, when Mr Woodland's employer IBM promoted a rectangular barcode that was adopted as the standard.

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