I just noticed that Smith & Wesson is doing 2D Data Matrix barcodes on some of their pistols. As a geek, I find this interesting for a few reasons. First, basic inventory tracking at the factory and second, to help reduce the ability to fake modify gun serial numbers.
As with most gun issues, this will have zero impact on criminals. If they want to change a serial number, they’ll spend the time and money to do it – or, they just don’t care and they’ll use a gun regardless of whether it’s got a usable serial number or not. So again, it’s a moot point.
As for ease of tracking in inventory, I find this to be very interesting. Barcode tracking is old technology now. UPS and FedEx know this better than anyone, but I haven’t seen barcoding on unique items very much yet.
In January 2010 I wrote a post about barcodes, but mainly focused on QR codes as they would eventually come to be used for sharing information for products. I like this new direction, although I’m not a fan of the ‘data matrix’ format of coding, as it’s not easily read by many applications – but that’s okay, I’m just happy their apply more and more technology.