Since its inception in 1973, the Universal Product Code, or UPC, commonly known as the bar code, has revolutionised the merchandising of products worldwide. The bar code provides an accurate, efficient and economical means of controlling the flow of products through the use of a numeric system that uniquely identifies the thousands of different suppliers and millions of different items that are warehoused, sold, delivered and billed through retail and commercial distribution channels. The UPC is now a global standard and has helped businesses reduce costs by increasing efficiency and driving innovation. During the developmental phase of the bar code, a committee of scientists at MIT was asked to assess how many years might pass before the technology would need an upgrade. Their answer was 25 years. {{FEAT. GENERAL }}