Jason's Blog


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I really thought that Barcodes would be replaced by RFID...maybe I'm wrong?

After Professor White's lecture, I must admit, I was convinced that Wal-Mart and their goal of being the first retailer to manage inventory via RFID labels on all of their products would be a trend that would spread like wildfire. Not only is it relatively inexpensive to produce these labels or tags, but it's extremely accurate and efficient. With all of these great benefits, I figured that was the sure shot jump that had to be made from today's monochromatic striped bar codes.

The computer giant "monopoly" Microsoft may have something up there sleeve that will be sure to delay a large jump to RFID. There new barcodes are nothing like those that we are familiar with today, Gavin Jancke has added color to store more information. His use of four or eight hues will allow a greater amount of data to be packed into less space. The different colors used are made up of interlocking triangles forming a perfect square shape.

Although it's quite possible to see this new form of barcoding take off, Microsoft is targeting commercial media like videogames, movies or other recordings and may appear on DVD's by the end of the year.

Well...How does the consumer benefit?
One mentioned instance of a special feature that these new High Capacity Color Bar Codes offer is added security, or links to a movie trailer or bonus features. -- Whoopity doo!

Downsides: We've got a few...
Color labels call for color printers...and I mean high-quality color printers. With various hues in the label, there cannot be a chance of colors running or not being uniform throughout a batch. Standard barcode readers also wont read these color codes. What does this mean? Microsoft monopolizes yet another aspect of technology and if this takes off, every company will have to buy their readers/scanners to utilize the new barcodes.

Overall, I think it's a nice idea..pack some more information into a 1x1 inch space, but I think its a jump that is completely unnecessary. Who cares if you can get a free trailer or see a few special feature clips on the net, with one click of a button, you can get a hold of that content no matter how exclusive they try to make it sound. As much as I am for adoption of new technology, I feel this is a nice attempt at adopting a soon to be antiquated barcoding methodology.

Read more about the New Barcodes here: http://news.com.com/Microsoft+gives+bar+codes+a+splash+of+color/2100-1008_3-6175909.html?tag=cd.lede


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