These days whatever you purchase you can find a label with thin, black lines across it, along with a variation of different numbers. These labels are known as barcodes. These barcodes, when scanned, returns the item's description and it's price automatically.But the question is how does it work? Today we will find out right here...

Barcodes are basically a machine readable form of information on a scannable, visual surface. They are also often known as Uniform Product codes (UPC). The barcode is read by using a special scanner known as barcode reader or scanner,also known as Point of Sale (POS). This special scanner reads the information directly off of it. The information is then transmitted into a database where it can be logged and tracked.

Each black and white lines on barcodes has a width of between one and four units. The units are not a standard width, as the image can be blown up or shrunken to different sizes. Instead, the widths of the stripes are proportional to each other. At the very beginning of a barcode, there are always three bars. There is a thin black bar, then a thin white bar, and another black bar. This is called the start code, and it is a signal to scanners and computers so that they know where to begin reading. Every four bars or stripes on a barcode corresponds to one of the numbers below. These four stripes always add up to seven units wide. For example, the code for the number four is one, one, three, two. Whenever there is a number four on the bottom of a UPC label, the bars above it will be a black or white line that's one unit wide, another line of the opposite color that is one unit wide, then a three-unit line, and finally a two-unit line. These numbers add up to a total of seven and each digit from zero to nine has its own similarcode. On one half of a barcode, the scanner reads the black bars. On the other half, it reads the spaces or white bars. There are a series of ones in the middle that serve as a signal to begin reading in the opposite way. This is done to cut down on errors.

The two other types of barcodes besides UPC include EAN and Code 39. They are based on similar principles, but some use characters other than numbers, and each character may be given more than four bars.

Merchandisers and other companies pay an annual fee to an organization called Uniform Code Council (UCC), who then generates special barcodes specific to that particular company. Barcodes are very useful for maintaining accurate information about inventory, pricing, and other important business-related data.