Alternative bar-code?

  Peter 14:07 22 May 2005


I know that this subject is not strictly computerish, but I think, that among the erudite readership here, someone may know the answer.

I've recently seen a small rectangle, subdivided into four rectangles, which contains a pattern of dots. This pattern has appeared on a couple of items posted to me; one is a washing machine spare part and the other my Tesco Clubcard envelope. I think the pattern is encoded information, possibly a picture. Can anyone shed any more specific light on this item?


  Klof Ron 17:43 22 May 2005

Not sure but I think it's how their sorting machines recognise a post code.

  AndySD 17:50 22 May 2005

Probably an RFID Tag.

  Peter 18:08 22 May 2005


Klof Ron - Yes it could be something to do with postal sorting. I thought I saw something in the past about this sort of pattern being a form of graphic encryption/compression. Thanks for your response.

AndySD - I don't think it's an RFID Tag as it is just printed onto paper and doesn't contain the usual looped printed wire aerial. I suppose it could be magnetic ink. Thanks also for your response.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:13 22 May 2005

Dont think its an RFID tag click here

  Peter 12:40 23 May 2005


Thanks for the interesting link Fruit Bat /\0/\.

Now that the weekend crew have had a go how about the weekday people? Any ideas?


  pauldonovan 13:24 23 May 2005

click here

Quite a bit of google searching for images of bar code types revealed that.

Sounds like it is a 2D matrix barcode - to fit more data within space than other types.

Don't think RFID has been rolled-out much yet other than trials although if you search google you can get RFID labels...the point of RFID is that its radio frequency so i don't think it would need a fancy barcode on the label if it was working!

  Peter 17:00 23 May 2005


Yes that's it Paul, although the ones I've seen have only been black on white. Thanks for your Google searching. Seems a bit expensive, doesn't it? I wonder if there is a FREE decoder!


  pauldonovan 17:50 23 May 2005 probs.

I didn't even see the cost but I did a search on "data matrix bar codes" and found this:

click here

looks like they have an evaluation version!



  Peter 18:31 23 May 2005


Thanks again Paul. I've downloaded the Windows Demo; I shall see what it does when I get a chance.

I'll tick this one as solved.


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