Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Future of Bar Codes?

Today I discovered QR Codes reading Eric Schnell's blog. QR codes are an alternative to linear bar codes like the ones we put on library books and looks like the image to the left. The QR code can hold over 7,000 numeric digits compared to about 20 digits in traditional bar codes. These codes also have features that allow data to be recovered if the the bar code is partially destroyed. I've been seeing them for awhile on packages but have not known what they were.

Among the interesting features of the QR codes is that cell phones can be equipped with software to read these barcodes. Apparently this is already popular in Japan where they are printed on business cards and used to add personal information to cell phones. They are also used to store URLs and are used in advertising to give readers a way to go directly to a company's web page using their cell phones.

Imagine a world where you read an article that you like and so you take out your cell phone and snap a picture of the QR code printed with the article to immediately be taken to a full text version of that article (on your cell phone) that you can bookmark or add to your bibliographic utility. We could be close ... stay tuned.

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