Technically speaking, a barcode refers to an optical, machine-readable, representation of data; the data usually describes something about the object that carries the barcode. They were initially scanned by special optical scanners called barcode readers. Later application software became available for devices that could read images, such as smartphones with cameras. Now, many companies are using creative designs to make them just a tad less boring. Continue reading to see more. Click here for a few bonus images.