Bar codes to link buyers to products’ Web sites

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Initially, the bar codes will work only with webcams and digital cameras, as cell phone cameras can’t take a clear enough photo, Microsoft said. The company also said movie producers, TV networks and other content creators will have to figure out what, if anything, the consumer will see online. Gavin Jenke, the Microsoft researcher who invented the colorful bar code, said the United States would eventually catch up with Japan, where it’s common to see people snapping photos of giant bar codes posted on billboards. Past U.S. efforts to link bar codes with the Web failed – CueCat in the 1990s, for example. This time, Jenke said the technology may have a shot thanks to the rise of cell phone cameras, broadband connections and even the way people think about the Internet. “Tagging real-world objects to something more meaningful, this is what’s kind of happening in the culture,” Jenke said. SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp. has finally found a taker for a colorful bar-code technology the company shelved two years ago because it failed to catch on. Microsoft said that the small square symbols, filled with red, green, yellow and black triangles, will appear on DVD and video game cases later this year, thanks to a licensing deal with the ISAN International Agency. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Geneva-based organization assigns codes to movies and other works and keeps a database about each title – director, cast members, release date, for instance. Once the group starts issuing the bar codes, studios and producers will be able to link their Web sites to that database. One day, consumers might use a digital camera to “scan” bar codes on DVD cases, in advertisements and on billboards, then be transported to a Web page to watch trailers or buy products. last_img

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