Microsoft’s New Multicolor Bar Code Technology

I guess it was just a matter of time. Microsoft has announced High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB), a new barcode technology that uses colors and patterns (and looks a little like Colorzip). Visual appeal seems to be the main draw here, as the press release focuses on the asthetic value and small, unobtrusive size. I think it fits in nicely with the pinata motif in the press photo, but so many colors would definitely clash with more conservative packaging. I actially think that a monochrome QR code would look better, even if it was a bit larger than the HCCB code.

The new code offers several advantages over existing black-and-white bar codes most people are accustomed to seeing on product packages, enabling new consumer experiences, more visual appeal where aesthetics are important and the ability to incorporate advanced security features.
I did not see any details about data capacity, though it claims to "enable the inclusion of more data in the code itself". Of course, it wouldn't be a Microsoft technology if it didn't come with DRM:
New security features can also be incorporated into Microsoft’s multicolor bar code. DatatraceDNA plans to provide technology for anti-counterfeiting security protection features through nanotechnology that is invisibly embedded within the material and ink of the Microsoft bar code and product packaging.
Wow, so much for a cheap 'n easy marketing tool. I wonder if it will work without the nanotech.

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