A New Look For Bar Codes

120px-High_Capacity_Color_BarcodeMicrosoft Tag is an exciting application that lets you access online information with your mobile phone. As long as your phone has a camera and internet access, you can access digital data with a click of a button.

The Microsoft Tag consists of a high capacity color bar code (HCCB), a type of 2D bar code that uses colored triangles to encode data (see the article’s thumbnail). Since the grid size, symbol density, and symbol count can be varied, the size of the HCCB can range depending on how it will be used. HCCB doesn’t replace traditional bar codes, but exists as another format for applications that require more information to be stored in a smaller space.

Microsoft uses a 4-color HCCB in a 5 x 10 grid for their Tag to add a colorful bar code element to a product’s packaging. Tag developers can create customized Tags that encode URL links. MSTagTo read the Tag, simply aim your camera phone at the Tag and snap a picture; there is no need to type in URLs or launch browsers. The content is displayed on your phone.

These colorful bar codes offer new opportunities for marketers to turn advertisements, signs, and packaging into interactive experiences for customers.

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