浮光掠影 | 沙滩上的灵感:条形码的诞生

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On this day in 1974, the first item marked with a Universal Product Code was scanned at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.
1974年的今天,首个带有通用产品代码(Universal Product Code)的商品在俄亥俄州特洛伊的一家超市里进行了扫描。

The rectangular bar code was the result of many decades of invention and collaboration, but it was based on the original, circular design of N. Joseph Woodland, above. He came up with the idea while sitting on the beach.
这个长方形的条形码是几十年来人们发明和合作的产物,但它是基于N·约瑟夫·伍德兰(N. Joseph Woodland,上图)最早的圆形设计基础上的。他是坐在沙滩上的时候想到这个设计的。

浮华掠影 | 沙滩上的灵感:条形码的诞生

As a graduate student at Drexel Institute of Technology, Mr. Woodland heard from a classmate about a supermarket executive in search of a solution to long checkout lines. Intrigued, they set to work trying to solve the problem. Mr. Woodland eventually moved to his grandparents’ house in Miami Beach to devote himself full time to the endeavor.
作为德雷克塞尔理工学院(Drexel Institute of Technology)的一名研究生,伍德兰从一个同学那里听说有个超市主管正在寻找一种解决结账处排长队的方法。对这个颇感兴趣的他们开始合作,试图解决这个问题。伍德兰最终搬到了其祖父母位于迈阿密海滩的房子里,全职投入到这项事业中。

There, in a burst of insight, he drew four lines in the sand with his fingers, envisioning a kind of graphical Morse Code.
在那里,灵光一闪的他在沙子里用手指画下了四条线,脑海中想象着某种图像版的摩斯密码。

It was a flash of inspiration that Mr. Woodland said “sounds like a fairy tale.”
伍德兰说那一闪而过的灵感“听起来像是童话一样”。

Though the original patent was sold for a paltry $15,000, Mr. Woodland was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 1992 by President George Bush, in recognition of his contribution.
尽管最初的专利仅售出1.5万美元,但伍德兰在1992年获得了乔治·布什(George Bush)总统为他颁发的国家技术创新奖(National Medal of Technology and Innovation),以表彰他的贡献。

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