With the huge increase in smartphones as of late, many people have also been making use of barcode scanning apps on their phones. You will likely recognize QR Codes, a new form of barcode, popping up everywhere – from posters to magazines, to pop bottles. But for those who don’t know, snapping a pic of one of these barcodes takes you directly to a link giving more information on the product you’ve just scanned. But many apps work without the QR code, and can be used with traditional barcodes as well.

One situation where a barcode scanner comes in handy is in the shopping mart. Say, for instance, you see a new product that looks appealing, but you are unsure if it is any good. If you were to scan its barcode, you would be taken to a site with a list of product ratings and reviews. In cases like this, barcode scanning apps go beyond marketing tools and become very useful for making purchasing decisions.

Taking it one step further, a new barcode scanning app, called Barcoo, has created a green-centric version of a barcode scanner. When a product’s barcode is scanned, Barcoo takes you to a page that ranks the brand for its corporate social responsibility and environmental awareness. For a quick visual scoring system, they’ve chosen traffic lights. Red = bad, green = good. If you want to make sure the business you are buying products from isn’t leaking toxic chemicals into the local water supply, just scan the barcode on the package and you will know in a few short seconds what the company’s environmental policy is. In addition to its ‘green’ factors, the app also provides price comparison and product details.

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Although the app is currently only available in the UK, it is certainly a trend that is going to catch on in North American barcode scanning apps as well. As more and more people become conscious of the environmental impacts of the products they buy, businesses will be forced to be more environmentally friendly, and will become more accountable to their customers. This is a great new trend in corporate social responsibility.

If you happen to be in the UK, be sure to visit Barcoo’s website to download your own version of the barcode scanning app.

Is this something you would use to make your purchasing decisions?



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