Microsoft presents a new High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) system which will be used on DVD media toward the end of this year:
The HCCB technology will be used to assist in the identification of commercial audiovisual works such as motion pictures, video games, broadcasts, digital video recordings and other media.
"The capability of these new bar codes to store more data in a smaller space should provide a rich resource for the industry and consumers alike," said Gavin Jancke, director of engineering for Microsoft Research and inventor of the HCCB format. "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."
Current ISAN codes allow an audiovisual work to be uniquely distinguished from other works through a simple identification system, but they do not allow additional features or functions to be incorporated. For the consumer, such features could be such as product versioning, ratings identification, parental control, product availability, special releases, contests, pricing and promotions. On the publisher side, new functionality could be detailed data that can aid in royalty payments, anti-counterfeiting efforts and market analysis.
Microsoft says users will be able to scan the new barcodes with webcams and camera phones to extract additional information. The technology can also be used to combat counterfeiting.