The GS1 DataBar (formall RSS-14) was developed by the Uniform Code Council, Inc. to answer business needs of its 200,000 member companies in North America. The purpose of the code is to increase the amount of information that can be put into a barcode while decreasing the overall area of the code. The code will allow businesses to improve the stream of information and to match that information to the actual flow of product. This type of code is particularly useful for applications where space limitations are a concern. Industries such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, logistics and transportation, and supermarkets have recently begun utilizing this new symbology. RSS allows businesses to go beyond the typical manufacturer and product identification information embedded in a barcode. The healthcare industry views this symbology as a potential way to significantly reduce medication errors. The RSS technology also improves the labeling and tracking of food items. It gives supermarkets the opportunity to improve their labeling and tracking of meat and produce items. The code can be encoded to include manufacturers name, item identification number, weight, extended price, and the ability to place best if used by dates on items. Consumers also benefit by added consumer safety. If a bad batch of produce is placed on the shelves, a supermarket will have the ability to track down the produce immediately and remove it from the shelves.
For additional information about the name change from RSS-14 to GS1 DataBar, please review this pdf.