Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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QR-coded retail goods

Replace BAR codes with QR codes, and conveniently have product names, nutrition data, and other product metadata at the scanning points.
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Ever wanted to keep track of what you are consuming? In current system, supermarkets and stores don't have unique naming of their products, each store has the duty to enter the product names. The producers only provide the unique code of the trade item (which can be a package with a number of items, or a unit with weight). There is no product quality information on it: neither the expiry date, nor the ingredients, nor the mass of each unit within the package.

So, the idea is to replace the uninformative BAR codes entirely with QR codes!

The outcome:

Manufacturers of cash registers: would be able to design new scanners that are compatible with both old BAR codes and new QR codes. It's a business opportunity.

Producers of goods: would be required to include the descriptions (like nutrition data) of their products not just in small letters on the package, but also include that information in a QR code on the package. (Yes, QR code can include a lot of text, and most cell phones can read them.)

Retailers: would not have to care about naming of the products, as the naming would already be provided by the manufacturers. However, retailers would have to update their cash registers with QR-code capable ones.

End consumers: would be able to track their consumption habits by scanning the QR codes into their mobile devices before purchase and at the times of consumption.

Inyuki, Jan 17 2013

Similar Halfbaked Art QR_20Codes_20or_20B..._20for_20Legibility
More for the legibility issue than tracking. [AusCan531, Jan 18 2013]

[link]






       Being able to read the fine print on the label, without actually reading anything on the label than the QR code, could be very good. The phone, of course, would present that text in a nice large font...
Vernon, Jan 17 2013
  

       Yes, sure. The small font really is one of the problems. It would also let you scan multiple products, and have comparison tables.
Inyuki, Jan 17 2013
  

       I believe an American company has just been taken to court for disguising sucrose in its nutrition labelling as "evaporated cane juice".
UnaBubba, Jan 18 2013
  

       Similar idea [link] more for the legibility as I was having an impossible time reading 6 point font in white-on-white plastic. It would also allow choice of language for medicinal instructions and so on.
AusCan531, Jan 18 2013
  

       QR codes are obviously happening already, and augmented reality will probably even make them obsolete (though the codemay still be useful for verification. Google released and SDK for google glasses -- go for it :)
theircompetitor, Jan 18 2013
  
      
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