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A Tribute to One of the Pioneers in Retail Technology


Norman Joseph Wood, people counting, shoppertrak, retail, technologyNorman Joseph Woodland, Co-Inventor of the Bar Code, Died on December 9 at the Age of 91

ShopperTrak is the world leader in people counting technology and foot traffic analysis. We provide retail and other types of companies around the world with the technology, the data, the analysis, and the strategic business advice – and we facilitate the business partnerships – that help these companies win in the market place.

Yet even though we provide a vast and holistic system of services, we are very much a technology company. Day in and day out we work to improve our technology.

We also like to occasionally cite and herald other people and companies that produce innovative technologies that improve retail for buyer and seller.

Last July, we made a post – a link to which is here – on this blog in which we discussed Bernard Silver and N. Joseph Woodland and their invention, the bar code, which changed the retail industry on an epic scale. The men designed the preliminary code in 1948, and received a patent for it in 1952.

As we noted in the post, the bar code was a “system” like the ShopperTrak people counting and foot traffic analysis system in that it was “about data reading and collection and making the shopping experience better and more productive for buyer and seller.”

Earlier this month, on Sunday, December 9, N. Joseph Woodland died in Edgewater, NJ; he was 91. Mr. Woodland had Alzheimer's and was weakened with complications from old age.

Last Thursday, the New York Times published a wonderful story and tribute, written by Margalit Fox, on the life of Mr. Woodland, his upbringing and education, and the work that he and Mr. Silver did together to create a “technology, based on a printed series of wide and narrow striations, that encoded product information for optical scanning.”

Click here to read the entire New York Times story.


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