Barcodes out of date -

Fears by fundamentalist christians that bar codes on products were the "number of the beast" mentioned in Revelations appear to have been proven ill-founded.

For years supermarkets in the Bible Belt and in some parts of New Zealand had difficulty attracting the more looney element of Christianity out of a fear that the bar code some how added up to the number of the beast 666.

Now it seems that if the anti-christ ever gets around to showing up then he will have to come up with a new method of sticking his number on everything bought and sold.

Japanese electronics company Toshiba has been developing fruit recognition technology which could one day find itself at supermarket checkouts around the world.

The scanner can recognising every item in a supermarket and make bar codes a think of the past.

Engineers at Tosh jave developed an Object Recognition Scanner (ORS) works by using pattern and colour recognition technology.

Toshiba's Keiichi Hasegawa told Digital Trends that at the moment the special scanner is able to recognise any supermarket item, it is better at spotting an English cucumber from a Italian cetriolo.

Fruit and vegetables in supermarkets don't usually have bar codes because they're put out while they're fresh, so these items can't be read at the register using bar codes, which means staff need to input data to record them, Hasegawa said.

Toshiba is currently in the process of creating a database of typical supermarket items. This means that if each supermarket product does not have a number on it, then it will mean that there can be no number of the beast and born-agains will have to find another way to present their frighting and literal translation of a mystic text which was actually talking about Ancient Rome.