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Progressive Barcode Applications

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Last year, we introduced the four-dimensional Progressive Barcode which is a printed mark that does not take up more real estate as it is used to advance a workflow. Adding progressive information to a barcode allows it to change through time—supporting many different information lifecycles. It is thus a means of using the same barcode location for multiple barcodes through time. In addition, progressive barcodes can be used to support two (or more) applications or services in the same object. One of these is typically Standards-compliant and the other is typically proprietary/customized.

The key technological insight is that the progressive barcode effectively uses two planes of information. The first plane is binary, with high contrast between the two binary encoding (usually black and white) tiles in the barcode. The second is N-ary, and utilizes inks that are invisible to the binary barcode reading software. Typically this is accomplished with highly saturated colors, but it can also be incarnated with IR, UV or other “invisible” inks.

In this paper, we will demonstrate the types of applications and services that are enabled by the progressive barcode. They are most effectively deployed when there are multiple types of information payloads needed for a single object—e.g. point of sale and customer interrogation of the product. This also makes them useful in a variety of document/physical item workflows.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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