MS Color Barcodes Will Store More Data, Direct Users To Information & Content

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Microsoft has developed a new color barcode system that can hold up to two-pages of data, double the amount of B&W, striped barcodes, the BBC reports. The so-called High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB), consisting of four and eight-color geometric patterns, is set to show on DVDs and Xbox 360 videogames later this year.

In addition to the wealth of data they contain, these new barcodes also present consumers with new possibilities to interact with the products using their cameraphones. Information such as a website address or email address could be stored inside the barcode, and users who scan the barcodes could be directed to a promotional page or website offering downloads or extra content. However, Microsoft isn’t the only company aiming to carve out a niche in interactive packaging; Japan’s Fujitsu is working on a competing system.

James: Yet another mobile barcode…there’s already a plethora of these on the market, including color codes that store a large amount of information… the concept really needs ubiquity to be successful. This HCCB system has the benefit of Redmond behind it, which should give a bonus in terms of putting the software in handsets and putting the barcode out there, but the industry would probably have been better served if MS had focused on building a reader that could read multiple codes — although there’s already one of those as well. With the “3,500 alphabetical characters of data” data it’s possible to include a small amount of content (text) without the need to connect to a server, which could allow some good, creative applications. Just using it to link to a WAP page is a bit of a waste.

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Do we really need 2 pages of data within a code if it can interact with a WAP page, send an SMS/MMS, or make a phone call? I would be interested in hearing peoples use cases for needing 2 pages of data within a 2d barcode. Also I wonder if MSFT has begun building the 2dcode readers? From what I hear it is not easy.

I know Nextcode does that 'direct link embedding' with their b/w 2D barcodes already. I am not sure if they can support 2 pages of data, but it is a proven solution using existing phones and lenses.

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