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KarTrak, the unsuccessful idea that laid the tracks for barcodes


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#1 FrensicPic

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 10:35 AM

Right Track, Wrong Station

KarTrak, an innovation originally built for the rail system, was quickly discarded by train operators. But without it, we wouldn’t have modern barcodes.

http://tedium.co/201...arcode-history/


Edited by FrensicPic, 06 September 2017 - 10:36 AM.

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#2 KmH

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for the link!


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#3 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:37 AM

Interesting article but from my perspective the most confusing part of the invention has to do with the use of color bars on external surfaces exposed to the sun and elements.  Just seems like a horrible idea to me.  Presumably it was envisioned as a method for including more information, but at the cost of eventual fading and error introduction.  I only have limited experience with barcode implementation but I've never seen another universal standard that used more than two colors, almost always black and white.


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#4 cirdan

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 02:42 AM

Interesting article but from my perspective the most confusing part of the invention has to do with the use of color bars on external surfaces exposed to the sun and elements.  Just seems like a horrible idea to me.  Presumably it was envisioned as a method for including more information, but at the cost of eventual fading and error introduction.  I only have limited experience with barcode implementation but I've never seen another universal standard that used more than two colors, almost always black and white.

 

Every barcode or other scannable system must have a high level of error tolerance. Minor errors or distortions caused by dirt, raindrops, chipping, camera shake etc should not lead to misidentification. Colors fade over time and behave differently under different lighting conditions and are tus problematic. I agree that the concept was probably not ideal.



#5 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 12:51 PM

Thanks for the link! I remember seeing those as a kid and hadn't thought about those in years.


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