New barcodes for 360 games

Scan with your phone.

Microsoft has designed a new colour barcode which can store extra information and be read using webcams and mobile phone cameras, reports.

The new High Capacity Colour Barcode will not replace the traditional system, titled UPC, but is set to appear alongside black and white codes on DVDs and Xbox 360 games.

Speaking to the BBC, research engineering director Gavin Jancke described HCCB as "more of a 'partner' barcode", adding, "The UPC barcodes will always be there. Ours is more of a niche barcode where you want to put a lot of information in a small space."

The barcode is comprised of up to eight coloured triangles which can hold up to twice the amount of data as UPC codes. This might include information such as email addresses or the URL of a website offering downloadable content. Consumers will be able to use their phones or webcams to scan the barcodes and access the data.

HCCB codes can also be used to combat piracy as they will contain nanoparticles which can be detected by special handheld readers.

"The capability of these new barcodes to store more data in a smaller space should provide a rich resource for the industry and consumers alike," Jancke said.

"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."

The new barcodes are set to appear on DVDs and Xbox 360 games by the end of the year.

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