What does the year 2012 have in store for the bar code industry? Will mobile bar codes continue to catch on and revolutionize the marketing landscape? Will RFID continue to go where no bar code has gone before? What about traditional bar codes and bar code equipment—are they going extinct or holding their own through each wave of new technology? Find out what some of the industry leaders have to say.
Cedric Mollon of Intermec, Inc.
“We expect growth in the marketplace to be fueled by the rise of 2D Imaging. We expect to gain traction in the market for two main reasons: 1) we are adding new product ranges within our handheld scanner portfolio, and 2) we focus on the fastest growth scanner segment--2D Imaging. We expect a dramatic adoption of 2D symbologies across the industries, fueling scanning growth. We expect bigger adoption of imaging value ads, such as document imaging, signature capture, data control and extraction.”
Dana J. Ritchie, PaladinID, LLC
“I believe 2012 is going to be another great year. The main reason is because great customer service never goes out of style. Another reason to be excited is because of all the new technology that is available to make companies more efficient, for instance mobile computers and mobile printers. In my 24 years in the bar code labeling business, I have more opportunities than any time in the past. The reason for this is that I am doing 4-5 trade shows, using social media and have increased my product line. I think companies are now ready to spend and are getting more comfortable with how the economy is going. I am very excited about this year with where we are positioned in the market.”
Mike Baur, CEO of ScanSource, Inc.
“As smartphones and tablets become more prevalent in the channel, we will continue to see manufacturers respond by creating industrial versions of these products, as they understand that resellers need alternative, more ruggedized versions to offer to their end-user customers. In addition, as the end points evolve, I believe we will see more low-cost applications becoming available for niche markets, allowing resellers to meet the very specific needs of their customers. We created our AppSource mobile app store for just this reason and are seeing great opportunities for resellers through this program. We are also seeing a renewed focus on RFID, for which I believe ScanSource can play an instrumental role in enabling and educating the channel. It’s an exciting time in the industry!”
Al Quinn, General Manager of Advanced Data Capture, Motorola Solutions
“Motorola Solutions expects consumers’ use of mobile phones and mobile bar codes to continue to flourish in the retail space. Consumers will exhibit a stronger desire to interact with retailers while shopping in their stores. Much of this interaction will revolve around scanning a mobile bar code from the screen of their smart phone at the POS for mobile couponing and mobile loyalty applications.”
Yedidia Blonder, Product Manager at Vizbee RFID Solutions
“2012 will be the year of the RFID breakthrough. Significantly more companies and industries will turn to RFID as the tool to increase efficiency and get more ROI out of their current staff and systems. One of the factors encouraging this growth will be the drop in cost of RFID systems and ease of implementation as the industry moves from closed proprietary systems to generic, open, customizable systems.”
Nicole Skogg CEO of SpyderLynk
“Mobile activation will play an essential role in integrating mass and digital marketing in 2012. Mobile activation has the opportunity to be so much more than a link to a mobile website. Marketers have the ability to impact consumers at all stages of the consumer decision journey with mobile initiatives designed to engage consumers, drive purchase consideration, activate a sale or build a sustainable mobile connection. With all of the robust mobile barcode activity in 2011, we believe the stage has been set for brands to develop and refine comprehensive, strategic approaches to activating 2D Mobile Barcodes in 2012. We expect brand marketers will capitalize on the ability to segment their mobile marketing campaigns and serve content and experiences crafted to engage different target consumers relative to where they are in their path to purchase.”
Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, Inc.
“2011 has seen enormous growth in the penetration and usage of mobile barcodes. Brand owners, retailers and consumers are all becoming more familiar with 2D codes and the value they can offer. 2012 promises to be another big year for mobile barcodes, and we expect to be in the middle of it.” NeoMedia shared more in-depth predictions in a recent press release, including a rise in both 1D and 2D bar code scanning, the mobile web taking center stage, and the US becoming a market leader in mobile marketing."
And finally, our own expectations? Craig Aberle, Founder and Publisher of The Bar Code News says:
“I am wildly bullish on the next few years. The retail and bar code industries are on fire right now. User search traffic on the Internet for those industries has grown 60% over the last two years. With the penetration of the smart phone more than doubling next year, I expect that thousands of new applications will be launched and that users will experience an unprecedented level of control in the retail environment.
The Apple iPad is unquestionably expanding (or destroying) the boundaries of the retail experience. Companies like Square and other payment processors are shaking the POS world entirely. Millions of tiny businesses can now accept credit cards and it is healthy for our economic conditions and good for society as a whole.
The growth of bar coding for end-users will expand the bar code industry and will increase the need for traditional dedicated bar code readers, bar code printers and other bar code peripherals. I predict that both the bar code industry and point of sale industry will experience very solid growth over the next few years.
If the history of personal digital appliances in the last three decades has taught us anything, it is that the commoditization of technology brings expansion on an unprecedented scale.”
Written by Erin Thayer
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