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Co-brands in Kenya

1. Barcodes

Usage and Barcode Types

Barcode=optical machine-readable representation of data relating to the object to which it is attached.

Originally barcodes systematically represented data by varying the widths and spacing of parallel lines (bars), and may be referred to as linear or one-dimensional (1D). Later they evolved into rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns in two dimensions (2D). The ISIC serial number or the student’s details are encoded in Barcode. The Barcode is used to control access in and around the university’s facilities e.g. cafeteria, class rooms, library, etc., and verification such as in campus shop, copying machine, etc.

There are various types of Barcode used in various degree, but below are the most commonly used Barcodes worldwide:

UPC (Universal Product Code)

Used in retails worldwide. International standard is ISO/IEC 15420. It encodes only numeric data, up to 12 characters.


Code 128

Used in various sectors e.g. logistics (tracking), automotive, retails, etc. International standard is ISO/IEC 15417. It encodes 128 Characters (A- Z, a-z, 0 – 9, basic punctuations, space)


Code 39

Used in various sectors e.g. logistics (tracking), automotive, retails, etc. International standard is ISO/IEC 16388. It encodes 43 Characters (A- Z, 0 – 9, -, . , $, /, +, %, and space)


 QR (Quick Response) Code

Used heavily in marketing because it can also encode URLs, images, music, emails, in addition to vast amount of characters and character types. International standard is ISO/IEC 18004


Applications & Advantages

 Most common uses of Barcode are:

  • Access control
  • Identification
  • Usage tracking

The main advantages of Barcode are:

  • Simple technology and easy to implement      
  • Low investment
  • Widely available

Points to consider:

  • Limited functionality      
  • Low security level



Nowadays, you can buy off-the-shelve Barcode readers easily. A quick search on the internet will show you prices. You can also download Barcode reading application  for your  smart phone  for free.



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