In case you haven’t heard – Microsoft Tag has been released as a public Beta.
What is Microsoft Tag?
Well, in a nutshell, is basically a barcode generation application. I know what you are thinking - “Well I get barcodes on my baked beans? BORING!” but wait. What is different about Microsoft Tag is that it uses a system designed to store much larger amounts of information.
This means that you can actually make the “barcode” much more useful. You can insert full URLs & create vCards. This doesn’t sound like much, but read the first again.. full URLs.
Full URLs? Big Whoop, Wanna Fight About It?
Easy tiger! Now think about what URLs you use every day that could become scanned while on the move and be useful..
- Event listings for a gig.
- Timetables/schedules for trains/planes and automobiles.
- Contact information for people/businesses.
- Product offers etc.
Now, apply some geek knowledge.. What else could we do?
- Hook in to services like Amazon 1-click, scan a product and it automatically gets shipped and delivered.
- Have browser plug-ins that detect CSS microformats and automagically render the tag on the screen so you can find the info you want, scan and go.
- Submit URL’s of files to an auto-download service. E.g. I see an advert for a bit of software on the web/in a magazine. I scan it, the URL is then sent to a download service, which then auto-downloads it to my PC.
The list could go on!
So, How Low Can You Go?
Having got excited about the tech, I wondered how small I could get my vCard tag and get it to scan reliably. I also wanted to see if they worked in black and white (since they are technically colour) – because I don’t have a colour printer set up :D
So, I threw them in to Paint.NET and started screwing with the colour and sizes, and I came up with the images below:
Scan them! Check them out! I think this is pretty damn impressive myself! The black and white can be a bit unreliable compared to the colour, but hell, it’s still great!
Note, I have to admit, I am terrible when it comes to imaging, a pro could probably do a lot better and provide a sharper image. Results will also obviously be very dependant on the ability of your mobile camera to focus at close range.