Microsoft has created a new bar code system that replaces the standard black and white vertical bars with specific patterns of colored triangles. By doing this they are able to pack in more information into such a small space.
The High Capacity Color Bar Code should start appearing on DVD’s already by the end of this year. Once implemented the bar code would be able to store information like URL’s and other information that could be related to the CD/DVD. This would be especially useful when deciding whether to purchase a movie or music CD because it can be attached to a computer at a store so that you can visit the homepage.
This does, of course, require special hardware to scan the bar code so the transition could be costly for companies. It even takes more costly hardware to print the bar codes which is something else that could drive the price of goods up.
Having worked at a retail store I can see real value in such a system. We came across people all of the time who tried to print their own UPC’s for products and place them over an item’s UPC. That way when the cashier rings up the item it is for something else at a much lower cost. Being able to replicate these new color bar codes could spell disaster for scammers utilizing this method of “bar code switching”.
Thanks for the tip CoryC!