Increasing Our Barcode Focus

technology, accessibility
Shane Lowe
2 minutes reading time
February 27, 2021

Six months ago, I braved the company of my fellow citizens to do a bit of research on where barcodes are located on products. You can find that post here, and it is still serving me well today as I continue to add new things to my pantry. However, we’ve also spent the last six months making improvements to our barcode reader within Supersense itself to give you the best experience. Here’s the rundown.

A wide-angle photo of supermarket aisles showing shelves full of products.
Photo by Nathália Rosa on Unsplash


First, we aded the ability to label your own barcodes. If you know what something is but can’t find it in our database, it’s now possible for you to enter the item in yourself! We’re always looking to expand our products database, but it’s entirely possible that we won’t always have everything. Now you can fill in the gaps by adding your most used products on your device. This works for any unrecognized barcodes, which means you can also use custom barcodes that you have attached to products, appliances, or anything at all.

Next, we improved the way that the camera sees barcodes. Before, it was looking for the barcode in a very specific way, and we’ve broadened that so you’re able to find the barcode faster. In my personal experience, I start by holding the phone a foot away from the product. Once you hear Supersense beeping, that means it’s seen the edge of a barcode, and you can move the phone slightly closer to the product like you’re zooming in on the barcode. This typically results in a quick, easy scan.

As a refresher, when scanning products, the barcode can usually be found in the following locations for each type of product.

  • Boxes: on the back or sides, toward the bottom. You will sometimes see these on the flaps of the box, but this is not common.
  • Bags and packages: on the back, toward the bottom. The seam is a great reference point since the barcode is usually right on or around it.
  • Round cans or bottles: On the side, typically right around the seam as well. Some glass bottles will have a piece of paper stuck to them, likely to be the barcode.
  • Packages of meat: The same kind of paper is usually stuck to the clear plastic on a package of raw meat. This is almost certainly where the barcode is located.

In case you didn’t know, our barcode reader provides information on what the product is, of course, and the brand, ingredients, and nutritional facts. Feel free to let us know if you have any issues with the barcode reader, and we’re always looking for ideas and feedback on how to improve it.


Happy scanning!

An illustration of a smartphone

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