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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Carol Byrd‐Bredbenner and Carl A. Bredbenner

Mobile Universal Product Code (UPC), or barcode, scanning technology provides an efficient, accurate and comprehensive method for conducting home food inventories intended…

Abstract

Purpose

Mobile Universal Product Code (UPC), or barcode, scanning technology provides an efficient, accurate and comprehensive method for conducting home food inventories intended to describe the household's nutrient supply. However, heretofore this technology has had limited use in research because of equipment and software complexities. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to describe a data collection system that overcame these complexities.

Design/methodology/approach

A data collection system was developed that utilized off‐the‐shelf barcode scanners and laptop computers running commercial diet analysis software modified to use two large databases linking UPCs with nutrient data in addition to usual data sources (e.g. USDA Standard Reference). This system was designed for use at the data collection site to ensure 100 percent verification that scanned UPCs on food packages matched database foods and make corrections as needed. This system also permitted researchers to capture the presence of foods lacking standard UPCs (e.g. fresh produce) using a keyword search. To ensure that all data were collected uniformly and new foods not in the original database were added to the database in the same fashion, a protocol flowchart consisting of a series of branching “yes/no” questions was developed and applied to each food of interest in the household.

Findings

The system was used to conduct household food inventories of 160 families with widely varying socioeconomic strata and races/ethnicities. Households had between 13 and 389 foods on hand, the vast majority of which were identified by standard UPCs. The average inventory took approximately two hours. Study participants expressed interest in the data collection method and were very cooperative.

Practical implications

Home food inventories conducted by researchers are objective and help minimize reporting errors and social desirability bias; however, the cost (e.g. researcher time, equipment, software, and database licensing) of conducting home food inventories, even using mobile UPC scanning technology, is important to consider. To improve access to databases linking UPCs and nutrients, collaborative links between researchers and industry are needed.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to demonstrate the feasibility of using mobile barcode scanning technology to conduct home food inventories on a large‐scale basis and solve the technical problems associated with this data collection methodology.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Patrick Wolf, Martin Steinebach and Konstantin Diener

The purpose of this paper is to show how digital watermarking can be applied to assist and improve cryptography‐based digital rights management (DRM) systems by allowing…

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1019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how digital watermarking can be applied to assist and improve cryptography‐based digital rights management (DRM) systems by allowing the protection of content beyond the domain protected by the DRM system.

Design/methodology/approach

Digital watermarking is a passive technology, not allowing the active prevention of copyright violations. But it allows the irreversible linking of information with multimedia data, ensuring that an embedded watermark can be retrieved even after analogue copies. Therefore watermarking can be used where DRM fails: whenever content needs to be moved out of the protected DRM domain, e.g. when playing back content via analogue output channels it can mark the content with information that would help to identify its origin if it is used for copyright violations. The remaining challenge now is to find the marked content within the channels regularly used for copyright violations. The paper therefore introduces a concept for scanning file sharing networks for marked content.

Findings

The vast number of files present in the file sharing networks prohibits every approach based on completely scanning and analysing each file. Therefore concepts for filtered search queries where only potentially watermarked files are downloaded are discussed.

Originality/value

The paper shows how watermarking can be applied as a technology to allow active content protection beyond the limitations of current DRM systems.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Richard Bloss

The purpose of this paper is to review the impact automation is having on improving the efficiency of handling all types of mail.

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3380

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the impact automation is having on improving the efficiency of handling all types of mail.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents information from in‐depth interviews with producers of postal automation equipment, visits to automated postal facilities and interviews of postal workers and individuals involved with postal automation over the past half century.

Findings

All three major classes of mail: envelopes, flats and cartons (parcel post) are now handled almost entirely automatically, including even reading the address.

Practical implications

Others with the need to handle large quantities of mail‐like items can see how automation has greatly increased the efficiency of handling such items.

Originality/value

The paper provides an expert insight into how automation innovation continues to reduce cost, improve accuracy and speed the logistics of handling letters, packets or flats and cartons.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Christine Connolly

Aims to discover the different technologies used in warehouse stock control.

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8807

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to discover the different technologies used in warehouse stock control.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper begins with a review of optical and radio‐frequency product‐labelling technologies, and then examines various devices and systems for reading these labels and integrating stock control into back‐office databases. It then looks at techniques for finding the goods within the warehouse, from simple address labels to radar positioning and inertial navigation, considering both operator‐based and guided vehicle handling systems.

Findings

Labelling technologies facilitate automatic product identification. Rugged handheld computers with wireless communications give real‐time capability and integrate stock control into wider software systems for efficient resource management. Speech synthesis provides one man‐machine interface enabling workers to order‐pick under database control. Automated readers record products entering and leaving the warehouse, theoretically removing the need for stock taking. Automatic guided vehicles are now available to stack and retrieve goods in the warehouse.

Originality/value

Provides engineers with an overview of the diversity of solutions employed in warehouse stock handling.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1979

Thomas W. Wilson

What has been the progress of scanning in the United States over the past few years? After initial difficulties, things now seem to be picking up. Just over 8,000…

Abstract

What has been the progress of scanning in the United States over the past few years? After initial difficulties, things now seem to be picking up. Just over 8,000 manufacturing companies are using a UPC identity number; symbol marking has increased to around 90% of grocery volume; and the number of scanner‐equipped stores has now reached about 800. In this paper presented to the recent CIES Congress in Montreal, Thomas Wilson, in his comprehensive review of the scanning situation to date, suggests that American retailers are now “on the brink of a second phase of UPC development, the soft savings revolution.”

Details

Retail and Distribution Management, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-2363

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Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2019

Hans Kjellberg, Johan Hagberg and Franck Cochoy

This chapter explores the concept of market infrastructure, which is tentatively defined as a materially heterogeneous arrangement that silently supports and structures…

Abstract

This chapter explores the concept of market infrastructure, which is tentatively defined as a materially heterogeneous arrangement that silently supports and structures the consummation of market exchanges. Specifically, the authors investigate the enactment of market infrastructure in the US grocery retail sector by exploring how barcodes and related devices contributed to modify its market infrastructure during the period 1967–2010. Combining this empirical case with insights from previous research, the authors propose that market infrastructures are relational, available for use, modular, actively maintained, interdependent, commercial, emergent and political. The authors argue that this conception of market infrastructure provides a powerful tool for unveiling the complex agencements and engineering efforts that underpin seemingly superficial, individual and isolated market exchanges.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1984

Ron Wilson

St Helens Co‐operative Society has an annual turnover of more than £21m, although its geographical base consists of a relatively small area of 20 sq miles extending from…

Abstract

St Helens Co‐operative Society has an annual turnover of more than £21m, although its geographical base consists of a relatively small area of 20 sq miles extending from St Helens at the hub to the western edge of Liverpool and north to include the new town of Skelmersdale and the market town of Ormskirk. The society includes 20 food shops, two supermarkets, and a department store in St Helens town centre with around 80,000 sq ft of selling area. More importantly, from the point of view of this paper, the society also runs two superstores — one at Boundary Road (opened late 1979), and the other at Newton (opened autumn 1983). It is the Boundary Road unit which forms the theme of this paper, first delivered by Ron Wilson at EPoS 83 in September. It has the unique distinction of being the site of the first Hugin NSC Datachecker installation in Europe — to be closely followed by the Newton superstore (not discussed here). The Boundary Road unit is around 40,000 sq ft of which 28,000 is sales area; of this some 18,000 sq ft is food, and the remaining non‐food merchandise includes clothing, hardware, footwear and ERT. Ron Wilson's paper is of particular interest since his society's decision to “go scanning” arose from what he heard as a delegate at EPoS 82. He was already interested in scanning and trying to decide whether the alleged benefits were attainable in reality, and if so when would be the right time to take the plunge. It was as a result of what he saw, heard, and discussed with other reatailers at EPoS 82 that convinced him of the Tightness of the decision. Above all else it was a remarkably speedy operation; the idea was conceived in September 1982; in May the society went live with scanning. This paper outlines the problems that had to be considered, describes the search for the most appropriate system, and lists the benefits so far realised.

Details

Retail and Distribution Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-2363

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1982

P.G. Jennings, Mrs. L.E. Newman and W.B. Wilkinson

A feasibility study undertaken by the Water Research Centre to capture 30,000 items from Water Pollution Abstracts in machine readable form is reported. The equipment used…

Abstract

A feasibility study undertaken by the Water Research Centre to capture 30,000 items from Water Pollution Abstracts in machine readable form is reported. The equipment used to capture a one year sample of these abstracts is the Kurzweil Data Entry Machine (KDEM), a computer controlled scanning device which captures lines of text for direct output to magnetic medium. After further manipulation using word processing equipment and indexing using the ASSASSIN suite of programs, the abstracts are to be added to the publicly available database, AQUALINE. The relevance of this bibliographic material to the water industry is discussed with the aid of citation analysis of four relevant journals. The speed and accuracy of the technique is described and the final cost reported is far less than the expected cost for re‐keying the data. The technique should have widespread applications for related tasks, and should become more common as similar equipment to the KDEM becomes more readily available.

Details

Program, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Liu Chi and Richard Kennon

Aims to check the validity of measurements of dynamic postures recorded by a body scanner.

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2350

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to check the validity of measurements of dynamic postures recorded by a body scanner.

Design/methodology/approach

Measurements between various anatomical landmarks have been taken both manually and using a 3D body scanner so that the validity of the measurements might be assessed when dynamic postures are adopted. Mechanical measurements of changes in the body surface dimensions have been compared with figures produced by a body scanner for both the standard natural position and for five dynamic postures, which must be accommodated when designing high‐performance garments.

Findings

Although the 3D body scanner collects data almost instantaneously and without physical contact with the target surface, the readings taken in respect of dynamic poses showed significant variations from manually‐taken measurements, with discrepancies as large as 6.8 cm over a 16 cm distance.

Research limitations/implications

The research has only been carried out on a very limited number of subjects. However, significant differences between manual and automatic body measurements are clearly demonstrated.

Practical implications

The research showed that as there are as yet no universally‐accepted conventions for 3D scanner measurements, the results appear to be optimised for the natural anatomical position. Body‐scanners are not well‐suited to taking measurements of dynamic postures expected in sporting activities.

Originality/value

Measurements of anthropometric landmarks for high‐performance activities have not previously been assessed, and these results usefully indicate the limitations of current 3D scanning technology.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1980

The following article is composed of excerpts from a book, just published, which has the self‐explanatory title of “Guide to Retail Data Capture Systems”. This very…

Abstract

The following article is composed of excerpts from a book, just published, which has the self‐explanatory title of “Guide to Retail Data Capture Systems”. This very welcome (and extremely hefty) tome is the most detailed document of its kind to have been produced in the UK. It also claims to be exhaustive, covering all equipment marketed in the UK by 38 different supplier companies, and therefore should prove invaluable to the hard‐pressed businessman. There is a detailed review of available systems, sections on merchandise marking and reading, data communication, information on specialist areas eg fast food systems, systems for small retailers, food systems: laser scanning, systems for clothing and shoes, warehouses, and cash and carry. There is also a review of how data capture systems are being applied by UK retailers and a review of price look‐up systems and an analysis of the impact of recent technological developments on systems design. The appendix, moreover, contains lists of suppliers of POS and related equipment (plus addresses and contact names) and a reading list. The Guide was prepared by Gil Jones and Associates.

Details

Retail and Distribution Management, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-2363

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