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A bar code is an optical and machine-readable form of data used to identify objects. A bar code allows a machine to retrieve a great deal of information about an object as soon as the object is identified through a unique visual code format created by drawing adjacent lines with variable widths and spaces. Bar codes were originally linear, one-dimensional representations of objects. Later, advanced two-dimensional data representations appeared in forms like dots, rectangles and other two-dimensional geometric shapes.
Bar codes were initially introduced as a method of identifying railroad cars. Later, bar codes and bar-code scanners were established as grocery store checkout system components, allowing easy pricing and data entry. Bar code components are cost-effective and efficient. Thousands of items can be quickly and easily scanned and priced.
Bar codes are read by an optical scanner.