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Wednesday, April 25, 2007
DVDs to Get Color Barcode


The International Standard Audiovisual Number International Agency (ISAN-IA) has announced an agreement with Microsoft whereby ISAN-IA has licensed Microsoft's new High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) technology developed to assist in the identification of movies, video games, broadcasts, digital video recordings and other media.

The ISAN-IA, which coordinates a globally recognized identification system for audiovisual works, will make the Microsoft-developed bar code available to other organizations for use in tracking, helping protect and manage their audiovisual content.

The new multicolor barcode is expected to start appearing on DVD media toward the end of 2007.

"The capability of these new bar codes to store more data in a smaller space should provide a rich resource for the industry and consumers alike," said Gavin Jancke, director of engineering for Microsoft Research and inventor of the HCCB format. "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."

Microsoft's new multicolor bar code will enable the inclusion of more data in the code itself, as well as the ability for consumers to interact with it by scanning the code with webcams and, eventually, cell phones with color cameras.

For audiovisual publishers, identification and tracking technologies will provide detailed data that can aid in royalty payments, anti-counterfeiting efforts, market analysis and a host of other business functions. For consumers, the new bar codes can be combined with Web services to offer enhanced information such as product versioning, ratings identification, parental control, product availability, special releases, contests, pricing and promotions. Software to be made available from Microsoft and ISAN-IA will interpret the bar codes and will be integrated with Web services to enable these interactions.

"The capabilities enabled by this combination of bar code technology and supporting software are important for everyone," said Patrick Attallah, chief executive officer of ISAN-IA. "This includes content owners tracking the use of their work and media publishers seeking to connect to consumers using interactive services and provide a combination of DatatraceDNA counterfeit protection in a single package. This technology provides a way to identify commercial programming and improve the consumer's experience."


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