Barcode Visionary, Alan Haberman Dies

Alan Haberman strongly advocated for the barcode within the supermarket industry, ultimately revolutionizing the checkout experience. He may have passed away, but his memory will always lives on.

Although Bernard Silver and Norman Woodland invented and then patented the barcode in 1949, it was not until 1974 that the barcode was actually implemented in a super market.

Haberman was asked to help modernize supermarkets in 1971 and he realized that people hated waiting in line, and thus began his advocacy for the barcode. He was chairman of an industry committee that settled on the symbol for the barcode in 1973, and a year later a pack of Wrigley’s gum in Troy, Ohio, was the first product to ever be sold using a barcode scanner.

Once the barcode was launched, Haberman didn’t stop there. He served on the board of the Uniform Code Council (now GS1) for decades and even helped create the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, Haberman assisted in developing the standards for RFID technology.

Haberman died on June 12 due to complications from heart and lung disease.He was born on July 27, 1929, in Worcester, Mass. Haberman is survived by his wife, daughter, son, two sisters and five grandchildren.

Today, approximately 10 billion barcodes are scanned everyday throughout the world and we truly have Alan Haberman to thank. Read more about him here and share your thoughts on our Facebook and twitter pages.