Evrythng, a digital identity and data management platform for consumer products and GS1 US Solution Partner, has launched a QuickStart Online Tool for manufacturers and retailers to connect their products to the Web at mass scale using GS1 identifiers.
The web-enablement of GS1 identifiers, used on trillions of consumer products every year, is set to enhance the role of the barcode with expanded functionality, connecting every consumer product to the World Wide Web and allowing one code or tag to support multiple applications, including smartphone interaction by consumers. As part of an industry-wide initiative, Evrythng is working collaboratively with leading global consumer product brands, retailers and other industry stakeholders to help define the next-generation of digitised product codes.
GS1 develops and maintains the most widely-used supply chain standards that are fundamental to numerous enterprises around the world. The best-known symbol of GS1 standards is the barcode, named by the BBC as one of “the 50 things that made the world economy.” Following a January 2018 GS1 public call to action with a mission objective that “GS1 identifiers will become linkable for the first time, enabling users to link to them or from them on the web”, Evrythng Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Dr. Dominique Guinard is co-chairing the GS1 URI working group and which is meeting on requirements and technical specifications in New York later this month.
Billions of iOS and Android smartphones can already read standard QR codes and NFC tags today. GS1’s call to action for the industry stated: “The short-term goal of this work is to reduce the need for multiple codes on packs, while ensuring that we develop a glide path with industry toward a future where a single 2D barcode could serve the needs of all parties.” A standardized approach to GS1 identifiers with web addresses will make it possible for the conventional 1D barcode that appears on trillions of products made each year to be updated to a single QR code or NFC tag, and which can automatically be read by smartphones to access digital services as well as being scannable by point of sale systems.
Brands can use the Evrythng QuickStart Online Tool to create digital identities for their products at industrial scale using existing GS1 identifiers. The tool will generate web addresses for each product item and easily connect to digital applications such as dietary information on food and beverage products, mobile checkout for direct purchase of products, post-sale registration and reward, product authentication and blockchain-backed provenance information.
Niall Murphy, CEO & co-founder at Evrythng, said: “The ubiquitous barcode representing a GS1 identifier has served brands and retailers well for decades, scanned over five billion times a day around the world at points of sale. With billions of iOS and Android smartphones now enabled to automatically read and scan NFC and QR codes, the time is now for the GS1 global standard to become internet-enabled, connecting trillions of consumer products to the web. Millions of people already interact with proprietary smart codes from WeChat, Snapchat, Facebook, Amazon and others.
“A new standard for giving web addresses to products using GS1 identifiers, which we hope to see completed by mid-year 2018, will extend the value of the standard barcode, open products up for smartphone interaction, and make product digitization accessible to everyone globally. We are at an inflection point that can see the world’s consumer products connecting to the Web at massive scale. Consumers benefit with access to richer product information and digital services on every product. Brands, retailers and manufacturers are able to generate enormous efficiencies with data from and about their products throughout the lifecycle, and connect directly with their customers and consumers via their products.”