George Laurer, the engineer who helped develop the barcode has died aged 94.

Laurer worked as an electrical engineer with IBM in the early 1970s when he led the development of the Universal Product Code or barcode.

The barcode is composed of black bars and up to a 12-digit number which has allowed retailers to identify products and their prices as they are scanned for stocktaking and at the checkout.

Laurer said that “grocery stores in the 1970s were dealing with soaring costs and the labour-intensive requirements of putting price tags on all of their products. The bar code led to fewer pricing errors and allowed retailers to keep better account of their inventory.”

Today, barcodes are used on all kinds of products, services and other items for identification.“To me, it’s just absolutely amazing, because when we were doing this … I never expected it to be anything like this,” Laurer told WRAL-TV in 2010. He later produced a patent for one of the first hand-held scanners for reading bar codes, according to an obituary provided by the funeral home. When I watch these clerks zipping the stuff across the scanners and I keep thinking to myself… ‘ It can’t work that well,’” he said.

Custom Labels have nearly 20 years experience in manufacturing barcode labels, from the smallest PCB label to large warehouse location labels on a range of materials that include polyester, vinyl, thermal paper, paper, polypropylene, destructible vinyl, void polyester and many more.

Basic retail barcode labels are thermal paper or paper printed with an EAN 13 or EAN 8 code and tend to have little other information (Possibly product description and price). More complicated labels may include a logo, sequential number, mark and seal laminate or database information.