Table of contents:
- What is product labeling
- What should be marked
- What is the use of product labeling for the average buyer
- How to Get Data Matrix Code Information Using the Honest Sign App
- What else can the Honest Sign app do?
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
Turns out it's not just useless code.
What is product labeling
Several years ago in Russia, a special Data Matrix code was applied to goods. Having scanned it, you can find out what kind of product it is, who produced it, what is the composition, expiration date, and so on. Visually, the Data Matrix is similar to a QR code and looks like this:
First, the manufacturer or importer applies a code to the product. Further, it is scanned at each stage: it is done by the wholesaler, the store employees upon acceptance, the seller during the sale. As a result, it is possible to track all movements of the product from the moment of creation to the sale.
As planned by the state, such measures will help fight counterfeit. If a product suddenly pops up out of nowhere and its path cannot be traced, then it is clear that something is wrong with the product. Most likely, we are talking about a fake. But it may also be a gray product that was imported into the country illegally.
That sounds good. True, there is a nuance: labeling is not free, and these costs will be borne by the manufacturer or importer. They need to print a code on a label or stick it on a box, purchase the appropriate equipment, and so on.
What should be marked
The labeling is being introduced gradually. Typically, you take a group of products and first start labeling in experimental mode. This provides an opportunity for manufacturers to prepare for the day when test marking becomes mandatory.
The Data Matrix code already exists or is about to appear on these product groups:
- Fur coats and other fur products. They were the first. They started tagging back in 2016 - as an experiment, the results of which launched a large labeling program. The application of codes has become mandatory since August 12, 2016.
- Tobacco products.
- Perfume and toilet water. Until September 30, 2021, sellers can sell unmarked remnants of goods that were produced or imported into the Russian Federation before October 1, 2020.
- Cameras and flash lamps.
- Tires and tires.
- Clothing and a number of other light industry products. Not everything is obvious with this group, because the labels should appear on products with certain codes, into which there is no point in the consumer. If you do not go into details, Data Matrix is worth looking for on bedding, dining room, toilet and kitchen linen, outerwear, and also on blouses for women and girls.
- Milk products. The codes should already be on ice cream, cheese and dairy products with a shelf life of more than 40 days. From December 1, they are mandatory for goods stored and less. At the same time, no tags can be applied to baby and special food, as well as to products weighing up to 30 grams.
- Bottled water - from March 1, 2022.
- Bicycles and bicycle frames - also from March 1, 2022.
In addition, in 2022 and later, we should expect mandatory labeling of dietary supplements, wheelchairs, beer, low-alcohol drinks and antiseptics. Experiments on these product groups are still underway or have just been completed.
It is planned that by 2024 the labeling will affect all product categories. But this is not certain: there have already been cases when the deadlines for a particular product were postponed.
What is the use of product labeling for the average buyer
We have already realized that labeling is a headache and an additional expense for a business. But for us, ordinary consumers, there is some benefit from it.
Identify a fake
Counterfeiting is not only a problem of the state or manufacturers, who lose profits. This applies to most consumers, especially in the era of marketplace proliferation.
For example, you buy a pair of shoes from a well-known manufacturer through an online store. It's not that very cheap, but the prices are lower than on the official website. But how can you guess: is it just a discount or is the seller offering a fake? And there is a difference. A counterfeit product may deteriorate faster and probably will not cope with the declared functions. Let's say a running shoe should have good cushioning. Without it, training can turn into torture.
With drugs, for obvious reasons, getting the original is even more important. Hardly anyone wants to buy crushed chalk without an active ingredient.
Find out the expiration date of the product
The Data Matrix code contains data when the product was produced and how long it is still usable. If it matters, of course. Such data is relevant for medicines or dairy products - it will no longer be possible to stick a sticker with a new date.
These are all important product information. It remains to figure out how to find it.
How to Get Data Matrix Code Information Using the Honest Sign App
There is a special program for scanning marks - "Honest Sign".
Its contents are intuitive. It has four pages:
- Home - a variety of instructions are collected here.
- Assignments - Developers invite users to scan products and win cash prizes.
- History - the page stores an archive of scans and counterfeit complaints.
- Profile - your phone number is listed here, as well as icons of achievements. To open them, you need to scan an item from a group. And if you click on the message icon in the upper right corner, you can write to technical support or find answers to frequently asked questions.
But the most interesting thing, of course, is the button in the middle, the scan button. Pressing it activates the camera with a frame on the screen. This box needs to be hovered over the Data Matrix code to learn everything about the product.
Let's look at how this function works using the example of products from three popular groups: shoes, medicine, and prepackaged cheese.
Here is a box of a pair of summer shoes:
If you scan the Data Matrix code, the application will tell you what kind of product it is, what it is made of. The data matches (ideally) what is written on the box. And it is on her that you should look after scanning - in order to compare the information. If it does not match, you can complain about an unscrupulous seller - the button is at the bottom of the page.
Here, only the inscription that the goods can be on sale raises doubts. The appendix indicates that changing status takes time. Perhaps the product is okay. On the other hand, the status of a couple acquired around the same time changed. There is a small risk that the sandals have a code from another pair that has not yet been purchased, and this is a fake.
The Data Matrix codes are also on them. To find the mark, you need to twist the pack.
After scanning, you can find out if there is a drug in the system, what is the active ingredient in it and how long it is still valid. This medicine is okay.
The prototype (more precisely, the packaging from it) is not very photogenic, but it is ready for research.
As a result of scanning, you can find out not only the composition, expiration date and other information, but also go from the card to the veterinary control certificate. The very existence of the document, however, already allows us to hope for the safety of the product.
What else can the Honest Sign app do?
It has several additional features.
Scan barcodes and receipts
It is not very clear why this should be done. Is it possible to compare the information stated on the package with information from the application database, which does not contain all the products. The program is ready to tell you about storage conditions, composition. But you have a barcode label in your hands, everything is already on it.
On the other hand, on the packaging, everything is usually written small, but in the appendix it is large and structured, convenient.
Also "Honest Sign" can scan and save receipts by QR-code. Useful if you want to collect information about purchases.
Set "medicine alarm"
The app will remind you to take your pill.
Recognize symbols on packaging
Using a sign is easier than describing everything with text: it looks pretty, takes up little space. But if you don't know what the symbols mean, you need a decoder. The Honest Sign app does a pretty good job with this feature.
For example, it decoded the characters from the palette of shadows correctly. Even the last icon was identified correctly by the application on the whole. The program counted as follows: "It is found only on cosmetics and, accordingly, means that the container is intended specifically for this type of product." This is the logo of the Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics brand, so in general everything is logical.
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