Universal Smartphone Barcode Scanning on the Way

Universal barcode scanners built directly into smartphones are on the way thanks to a partnership between GS1, the supply chain standards organisation, and the OMA.

GS1 manages the product barcode system that is used internationally by more than 2m companies. They are partnering with the mobile standards body to accelerate the roll out of more apps that work with mobile barcodes and ensuring opt-in location and other data are easily accessible to developers. The team hopes to that a scanner will be available on every phone through the camera, as well as to app developers via a web API exposed on the device.

The move has been supported by leading brands. “Our consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to research and purchase products,” said John Phillips, SVP customer supply chain and logistics at PepsiCo. “This new specification will allow more consumers to access accurate and trusted product information to help them with their daily lives.”
Fujitsu, NEC and AT&T have already agreed to join the development process but the team is hoping to get more on board. The GS1 and OMA aim to launch the new specification in 2014.