Code 128 is a bar code format which has been standardized as ISO/IEC 15417, and which is capable of encoding the 128-character ASCII repertoire, or can use an extension character to denote a wider repertoire of characters. Sometimes, however, it is just used for numeric data.
Among its users is the coin grader NGC, which includes bar codes of this sort in its encapsulated containers for graded coins. Pharmacies have also used it to encode prescription numbers in labels. It is also used on some coupons.
An application of this symbology, GS1-128, is used widely in the shipping industry and was formerly designated as ISO/IEC 15417:2007. This standard uses the coding scheme of Code 128 with specific codes denoting functional elements for particular applications.
Code 128 is one of several bar code formats created by somebody named Ted Williams who was not the famous baseball player. He worked for a company called Computer Identics in the Massachusetts Route 128 corridor, a thriving place for tech industry in the 1970s and 1980s.
- ZBar bar code reader library: cross-platform
- zxing (Zebra Crossing) (barcode library for Java, ported to some other systems)