I used to have a really cool toy called a Barcode Battler which let you take on your friends in a game where barcodes represented characters and you to ‘fight’ against each other by scanning cards through the device. OK, thinking back it wasn’t that cool, but it did provide a very primitive glimpse into how barcodes could transform our everyday lives.
One new invention in this field that fascinates me is a twist on the scanning technology, known as semacode. This basically allows a web address to be encrypted into a barcode-style format known as a ‘tag’, then scanned into a mobile phone using its built-in camera. Using a piece of semacode decoding software such as QuickMark, the URL is deciphered instantly by the phone.
An example of a possible use for this technology is to place semacode into posters for movies or concerts. Anyone interested in the performance can simply snap the code with their phone then access more information and order tickets from their device. Already in Taiwan, people are using the system to buy products from vending machines using their phone, and even attaching semacode to their business cards for instant contact sharing.
Semacode has yet to catch on in the retail market and, of course, the good old barcode is still by far the most popular way of tagging products and tracking stock. If you’ve yet to make proper use of the technology for your business it’s never too late to start. Barcode Blitz provides a simple platform for generating barcodes as high resolution graphics, while PrecisionID contains all the fonts and settings you need to print them.