Plymouth’s £53million cinema and restaurant complex is going to be officially named The Barcode – because it looks just like one.
The complex, up until now known as Drake Circus Leisure, is being rebranded by bosses at The British Land Company Plc, which is having the Bretonside complex built.
They said its new moniker, Drake Circus The Barcode, is “inspired by the nickname given to it by local residents”, believed to have been coined in a story on Plymouth Live in June 2018.
In a piece headlined “Bretonside is coming to life before our eyes – and it looks like a giant barcode”, Plymouth Live wrote: “Some people have likened the building to a giant barcode.”
No earlier mention of the leisure development’s likeness to a machine-readable code in the form of numbers and a pattern of parallel lines of varying widths, printed on a commodity and used especially for stock control, can be found from an internet trawl.
British Land chiefs said the development – which will include a Cineworld multiplex alongside restaurants, indoor crazy golf and a sky bar – has “a striking monochrome stripe design that has been compared to a barcode by locals”.
Architects working on the project had been told to create a building that reflected “the locality of the city near the waterside” and came up with “tri-coloured vertical fins set in contrasting colour changing ‘chameleon’ rainscreen cladding panels” designed to “help break up the elevation” and “create visual interest”.
The result was immediately likened to a barcode, but also to a pair of Adidas trews, a Newcastle United shirt, Bridget Riley artwork, a dazzle ship, piano keys, roadside chevrons, a zebra, a magnetic field, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album sleeve, and, perhaps most appropriately, a clapperboard.
But The Barcode appears to have been the box office winner, and signage bearing the new name will begin to appear on the site soon, as the project moves into its final stages ahead of opening around October.
The new name had already excited logophile city council leader Tudor Evans who went into alliteration hyperactive mode and said: “The Barbican; The Box and now The Barcode. Brilliant – bring it on.”
The Barcode, which will span more than 100,000sq ft, is set to become a major visitor attraction in Plymouth.
It will house a 12-screen Cineworld IMAX 4DX cinema – the first IMAX in Devon and Cornwall – as well as Paradise Island Adventure Golf and new dining brands including Zizzi, Five Guys, Nando’s and Cosy Club. Plus, 400 new car park spaces will be available.
The complex will also bring a jobs boost for the city with about 350 people needed. Already Cineworld has started to recruit 82 staff and recruitment is beginning for its associated Starbucks outlet, and at Zizzi and for security staff.
Pun-loving Cllr Evans said: “In the past few weeks we’ve seen jobs being advertised and new businesses signing up to commit their futures to Plymouth. It’s all coming along nicely and I can’t wait to scan through The Barcode for the first time.”
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Meanwhile, Greg Lumley, centre director at Drake Circus Shopping Centre, also owned by British Land, said: “It has been fantastic to see our new development become known as The Barcode, it’s clearly a name that has stuck with residents and it would seem odd to name it anything else now.
“We’re on track with the works on site and it’s exciting to now be counting down the weeks to opening.
“We’ll be announcing the official launch date soon.”
French retail giant Carrefour has attributed a recent increase in sales to its use of blockchain tracking.
Carrefour’s blockchain project manager Emmanuel Delerm told Reuters on Monday that the use of blockchain ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farm to supermarket has increased sales of these products.
According to Delerm, blockchain tracking has been particularly successful in China, where shoppers are more used to scanning QR codes. The initiative likewise proved to be popular in Italy and France, where buyers reportedly spend as long as 90 seconds reading merchandise information.
With the firm’s blockchain tracking – built with IBM Blockchain – customers can scan a QR barcode on a product with their phone and obtain information such as its date of harvest, farm location and owner, packing date, how long it was transported, and tips on how to prepare it.
“The pomelo [a citrus fruit] sold faster than the year before due to blockchain. We had a positive impact on the chicken versus the non-blockchain chicken,” Delerm said.
Carrefour initially launched blockchain information for 20 items, including chicken, eggs, raw milk, oranges, pork, and cheese, according to the report. Now, the retailer intends to add 100 more products to the system, particularly focusing on products for which consumers want reassurance, such as baby and organic products.
The tech creates a “halo effect,” meaning if shoppers feel they can trust one Carrefour product, they will also trust other items, Delerm said.
There are still challenges to blockchain tracking however – particularly in tracking fruit and vegetables sold loose and sourced from a number of farms. There is also some resistance from farmers to sharing too much information, according Delerm.
Carrefour is also working with Nestle, allowing the Swiss food and drinks giant access to its blockchain data for its Mousline potato puree so buyers can see that the produce is sourced from French farms
Carrefour image via Shutterstock
CHICAGO, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Smart, wearable device sales are projected to double worldwide by 2022, according to industry analyst CCS Insight. While many might think of wearables as something for the consumer, one German startup is showing the tremendous potential of wearables to increase efficiency, safety and ease in the workplace on a larger scale. It is now expanding its presence in North America.
ProGlove, the manufacturer of a smart, wearable technology that provides hands-free scanning solutions across a number of industries unveiled its MARK 2 to a U.S. audience at this year’s 2019 ProMat in Chicago this April.
The new MARK 2 can connect to a corporate network via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or 868 MHz radio frequency. It enables the user to scan up to 5 feet away from a device and includes a battery that holds up to a 15-hour charge. In combination with tablets, smartphones and other portable devices, employees have the freedom to work without a station. Instant Worker Feedback from the MARK 2 provides information to employees, reporting errors or pointing out prioritized shipments.
Barcode scanning plays an important role in many industrial environments. Workers use scanning technology to confirm work orders or document process steps. However, traditional mobile scanners turn out to be clunky and unwieldy. They bring unnecessary weight, must be picked up, and are often lost or quickly damaged. This delays work processes, leads to errors and affects the quality. The smart wearables from ProGlove address these problems and ensure greater efficiency, ergonomics, quality and process reliability.
“Our product connects the worker to the IIoT and is enabling industrial workers and management teams around the world to close the digital chain,” said CEO Andreas König. “We have just started to scratch the surface on the capabilities of this technology and the companies it can positively impact. Above all, we’re putting humans at the center of our technology and strengthening their role in an era of increased automation.”
To boost its North American business, ProGlove has brought a seasoned Vice President of Sales on board: Charlie Grieco will oversee the smart wearable maker’s North American sales activities and report directly to CEO Andreas König. Grieco has more than 20 years of experience and held management positions at AetherPal, SOTI, Dell and other renowned organizations.
“ProGlove is an American story made in Germany,” said Grieco. “It began with the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge, and I think we can add many American chapters to that plot because ProGlove’s technology is all about hyper-efficiency, unparalleled quality, and the connected human worker. These will be the precise ingredients North American businesses need to gain and maintain a competitive edge in the Industry 4.0 era.”
Industry leaders, such as BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, IKEA and Bosch, are already realizing the value of hands-free barcode scanning. The technology saves up to four seconds on every scan. In industries where workers scan hundreds or thousands of times per day — from automotive assembly to manufacturing to logistics to retail and aviation — this adds up to a major increase in efficiency. Plus, the gloves are far more ergonomic than traditional scanning technologies, providing a safer environment for industrial workers.
ProGlove was named a finalist for the 2019 MHI Innovation Awards – Best Innovation to an Existing Product Category for the MARK 2 smart glove.
ProGlove develops industrial wearables. The smart solutions of the German headquartered company are used by renowned organizations in manufacturing, production, logistics and retail. ProGlove was founded in December 2014 after winning the Intel “Make it Wearable” Challenge in Silicon Valley. Following rapid growth, ProGlove completed its second round of financing with investors DIVC, Intel Capital, Bayern Kapital and GETTYLAB. ProGlove employs 133 people from over 40 countries at its two sites in Munich and Chicago. More information is available at www.proglove.com.
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Reliable pick and place systems have long been a kind of Holy Grail among industrial robotics. The job of moving products in and out of bins is high among the jobs that many warehouse and fulfillment centers are looking to automate.
For a few years now, RightHand Robotics has been one of the more exciting startups in the space. The company has managed to drum up $34 million in funding from investors like Menlo Ventures, GV and Playground Global. This week at the ProMat conference in Chicago, the company unveiled RightPick2, the second generation of its piece-picking solution.
The news comes as the company notes that the previous version of its platform has crossed the 10 million pick threshold. This latest version features a number of upgrades on both the hardware and software fronts.
That list includes the fifth generation of the industrial gripper, which is capable of lifting up to 2 kg, coupled with new depth-sensing cameras from Intel and an improved arm from Universal Robots. That’s coupled with improvements to the system’s RightPick.AI vision/motion control software.
The results, as evidenced in the above demo, are pretty impressive. The system is speedy, fluid and capable of picking up a versatile array of different products, while capturing barcodes for order fulfillment in the process.