Barcode app to give product information

A smart barcode scanner application for mobile devices that enables consumers to find out information in real time about products they want to buy will debut in Thailand this July.

Users can scan a barcode with the mobile devices' built-in camera and product details will be automatically displayed on the smartphone screen, especially the most frequent found problems of the product being scanned.

The mobile app, called GS1 SmartBar app, was developed by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) with the Digital Economy and Society Ministry providing financial support, said Pravith Chotiprayanakul, chief executive of GS1 Thailand, the barcode registration arm of the FTI.

"The app is especially designed to deal with the most frequently found problems in product labels that are too small to read, particularly important information on pharmaceutical and healthcare products," he said.

Starting from July, the FTI will allow consumers using iOS or Android mobile devices to download the app at the Apple Store and Google Play app store free of charge.

With the smart barcode system, users will be able to scan barcodes with their mobile devices' built-in cameras, after which the products' detail pages will automatically be displayed on their screens.

The product details will include the manufacturing and expiry dates, food ingredients or product contents, user manuals and sources of production.

Founded three decades ago, GS1 Thailand provides registration services for global standard barcode setting systems in the country.

Mr Pravith said the smart barcode app will not only benefit consumers, but also reduce consumer complaints about faulty or misused products that cause serious injuries.

He added GS1 Thailand is planning to share its barcode information for registered products with e-commerce marketplaces like Alibaba and Lazada by year-end. The development is intended to educate consumers and promote Thai products on global online marketplaces.

So far, there are 15,000 member companies registered with GS1 Thailand's barcode system, with over 2 million product items attached to the barcode labels.

Approximately 1,000 out of the 15,000 member companies have applied with the GS1 SmartBar app, while the remainder are expected to join the new system by year-end.

Mr Pravith said the smart barcode app is part of the government's National Product Catalogue scheme, which is aimed at boosting the accuracy of data and ensuring reliable product traceability in real time.

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