This post is pretty far out in left field, as were regular UPC bar codes when they were originally developed. Did you know many Nokia mobile devices come with a 2-D barcode reader?
Barcodes are close to my heart. When I owned a ticket business we had to create, read, and validate them. It was actually a piece of cake because the barcode scanner does all the work of reading them, and opensource code did all the work of making them. And validation was simply: does this code exist in this show’s set of codes and has it been validated before?
A new twist in barcodes is these 2-D barcodes which you may have seen floating around. They look a bit like crossword puzzles on some kind of serious drugs. My best engineering guess as to why traditional UPC codes would be unsuitable for this application is that the 2-D format optimizes the available real estate better. The original linear code readers had to move over the code in a linear way. Next generation was able to reverse using expected start/stop codes if the scan happened to go the wrong direction. Then came the lasers, which were able to take it all in without moving. And if you can do that, WHY NOT make it 2D?
You can create a 2-D barcode of a URL, your ecard, or an arbitrary text. You can do that at
this page on nokia’s site. I used this site to generate the graphic you see at the head of this post. You can put these graphics on anything: a shirt, a business card, a web site, your dog’s tag or whatever.
I’m a bit phone phobic myself. My cell phone is a simple model that makes and receives phone calls and isn’t subscribed to any other services. I don’t own a reader, and I don’t expect that the hand held scanners I have left over from my ticket biz days will read these but of course I will test. You never know!
Be the first to decode the graphic in this blog post and comment what it is!