Sunday, January 9, 2011

Connecting the dots

Anyone who's ever been to a supermarket knows that barcodes aren't infallible: a slight glitch or scratch can make them unreadable. But let's face it, barcodes have been around since 1974. They've been serviceable, to say the least.

Still, it's hard to print straight lines, and if they're not straight, they don't work so well. This is part of the reason dotcode technology has been developed. You'll see it on everything from packing slips to concert tickets: an array of dots - instead of lines - that are much easier on your home printer than barcodes.

But, it turns out the extra dimension offered by dotcode technology, provides the possibility for a range of other applications. South Korea's NeoLAB convergence have recognized this, and are producing a range of products that harness its value. These include a pen that writes on your computer, and a gadget that can 'read' the printing on a page - when that printing is riddled with dots, that is.

Here's an LA Times video on the latter gadget, which is featured at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, that ends today in Las Vegas:

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