fahy hgh

More on (bar)codes…

   Posted by: wkossen   in Uncategorized

In my previous post I talked about barcodes and QR-codes. One of my dear commentors, Aldon Hynes, asked me about the Microsoft Tag in relation to my post. I didn’t hear about that before so I went right at it. What’s that all about?

qrcode versus Microsoft Tag
Microsoft Tag is another system for tagging offline objects with a code or tag and allowing mobile users to connect to online resources that are linked to the tag. You see the MS tag pointing to my domain here. It’s, ahemmm, ugly. I guess taste is personal…

Now let’s get into the reason Microsoft Tag is not a good idea when we compare it to QR-codes. The reason is simple. The QR-code is self-contained, which means that it holds all the information. If the QR-code points to an URL, it contains the URL. You don’t need any back-end database-connection to get the information it links to. In the case of the MS-tag you do need to first get the information from the Microsoft Tag-database before you can use it. This means more network traffic, an external dependancy and therefor it’s simply slower and more expensive to use. (and I’m not including printing cost here!).

The amount of information you can encode in a QR-code is limited. Alphanumerically (is that a word?) you can store a maximum of 4,296 characters in such a code. (that’s quite a lot actually). That’s it.  In most cases you would however include an URL so all the rest of  the information you want to share you would include on the resource the URL points to.

In a way, the MS tag is similar to the old fashioned barcode. You simply look-up the resources that are linked to the unique number encoded in the tag or barcode. I don’t think fancy colouring is adding anything functional to the black&white barcode. In fact, if the tag has to blend nicely into the layout and theme of the offline object you attach it to, B&W is a better option as far as I’m concerned.

Now I’m not saying that the MS Tag isn’t going to work. It does it’s job (if you’re able to install their app on your phone, because it wouldn’t work on my Nokia 6600 Symbian 60…) I just think it’s not adding anything important to the systems we allready have and use. 

I hope you liked this post

4c685b3de1f98bc3665afa55cc11559d More on (bar)codes...
This entry was posted on Saturday, January 31st, 2009 at 10:20 and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed at this time.