ENGINEER George Laurer, who co-invented the barcode and helped transform the retail world in the 1970s, has died at the age 94.
His funeral was held on Monday at his hometown in Wendell, North Carolina, according to a family obituary. He died at home last week.
Laurer is recognized as the co-inventor of the Universal Product Code (UPC), or barcode, which can be found on millions of products, services and other items for identification.
The barcode – made up of think black bars of varying thickness with a 12-digit number – can be scanned, quickly identifying the product and its price.
In 1969, Laurer rose to become senior IBM engineer and scientist in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, according to a tribute posted on the company’s website.
“Only a few years later, in 1973, Laurer went on to spearhead the development of the now-ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) symbol that revolutionized virtually every industry in the world,” it said.
Fellow IBM employee Norman Woodland, who died in 2012, is considered the pioneer of the barcode idea, which he initially based on Morse code. (Agence France-Presse)