NEW YORK — Norman Woodland, co-inventor of the bar code which transformed global commerce in the 1970s, passed away Saturday at the age of 91 from complications related to Alzheimer’s, according to a Reuters report.
The advent of the bar code reshaped retail decision-making and supply chains and its impact continues to be felt today. Five billion products are scanned optically using the bar code every day, according to GS1 US, the American arm of the global UPC standards body.
Also called Universal Product Code, the handheld laser scanner facilitates consumer product inventories, speeds passengers through airline gates, tracks mail, encodes medical patient information and is in near universal use across transportation, industrial and shipping industries worldwide.
Reuters reported that Woodland is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Woodland, of New Jersey; daughters Susan Woodland and Betsy Karpenkopf; brother David Woodland and granddaughter Ella Karpenkopf, 16.