Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Bar-codes on ICs and Business Cards

Handy bar-code that saves time
  (+6, -3)
(+6, -3)
  [vote for,

In this day and age, why should we spend our precious time writing or typing names and other mundane particulars?

The solution is: every ID and business card should bear a bar-code.

When you receive a business card, just scan it once and you can 'download' the person's particulars to your computer, PDA, pocket PC, organiser, etc. This saves all the hassle of manually keying in everything.

When you need to fill up any sort of form that requires your name and your other particulars, just hand them your ID card to be scanned. If the form is submitted by post, just enclose your business card. (If a signature is needed, signing on the card and indicating the date should suffice to authenticate it in relation to the form.)

baboo, Apr 01 2002

2D Barcodes http://www.bellhawk...s/MXT2Dbarcodes.htm
"A 2D barcode, with its data encoded in many different size rectangles, can hold between 1000 and 2000 ascii characters." Use this and the person's particulars can be encoded right into the barcode. [bristolz, Apr 01 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Baked for integrated circuits (ICs) http://www.rvsi.com
[reensure, Apr 01 2002]

CSM 150 Bar Code Scanner for Handspring Visor Handhelds http://www.symbol.c..._lib_cs_csm150.html
[phoenix, Apr 02 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) Palm III with Built-In Bar Code Scanner http://www.symbol.c...m_pi_hdwr_data.html
This has been out for about three years, I think. [Guncrazy, Apr 03 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

eBusiness Cards (top item on page) http://www.mx2.co.u...rage_Media_125.html
A CD-R, shaped like a business card - holds 35Mb and can be played in normal PC CD drives [hippo, Oct 04 2004]

Baked. RightCardWare http://www.the-right-stuff.com/index.html
RightCardWare lets you create a business card with a 2-d barcode printed on the back. Data is in V-Card format for import into PIM software using a free reader. [DanYHKim, Jul 02 2005]

semacode http://semacode.org/weblog/
lets you generate 2d barcodes which are 'linked' to URLs [neilp, Nov 16 2005]


       This is neither needed nor useful. There are already business card scanners that OCR the human-readable printed text. PDAs don't tend to have barcode scanners.
jutta, Apr 01 2002

       If we all had PDAs, we could just beam everything.
waugsqueke, Apr 01 2002

       I wonder why I haven't yet seen a business card scanner as a Visor module. It seems like that would have been one of the first applications.
beauxeault, Apr 01 2002

       I think it could be useful, though. With 2D codes alternate languages and other stuff could be added to the back of a biz card. Barcode scanners are a lot smaller and much more accurate than ocr. Maybe they will become more commonplace (I can't think of any reason why, though).
bristolz, Apr 01 2002

       It would seem like a 'hand-drag' barcode reader could be incorporated into a PDA using well under 1cm^3. Unfortunately, the amount of information that could fit on a reasonably-sized barcode would be a bit limitted. While 2D barcodes are much more capacious, the readers tend to be much larger and more complicated.   

       On the other hand, it might be practical to set up something analagous to Radio Shack's "cue cat" barcodes: the barcode contains a partial URL (the rest of which is standardized by convention) that may be looked up on-line. While this would require someone to have net access to actually use the information on the business card, it could be handy in its own right as well.
supercat, Apr 01 2002

       Barcode technology isn't necessarily a redundant way of transmitting information even though you all do it with your PDAs. I don't know the details of how this works, but I assume that for PDA to 'talk to' PDA, they have to be using a common program or language? Barcodes work on a simpler convention, and simplicity tends to be the mother of versatility... I read that barcodes, whether for a banana, a shirt or a car, follow a simple rule: the first three numbers are a common code for the country of origin, the next two are for the manufacturer (or cooperative of growers, etc.), the next numbers describe the item, and the last number is a reference (I think it's the last digit of the sum of all the other numbers) for the scanner to check that it has read the rest in full. Using this convention, a business card could develop a similar method for identifying a person: first three represent country of business base, next three for your company, next two for job title... almost like an IP or email address backwards: 49266381 could be 81@663.492 which redirects to the personal inbox of John the CEO @ Bananas Inc., Haiti. Once you have that much info, you could presumably punch in "ID49266381" to some internet database and find out just as much extra information as John the CEO wanted to be made available. Hmmm, I'm totally out of my area of knowledge here; and it shows.
sappho, Apr 03 2002

       Sony used to read 2d barcodes using a camera built into one of their smaller cuter laptops. The gist of it was that you could hold up the front page of a long document (to which you had file access) up to the camera and it would open the document for editing. (I'll see if I can find a link) [later - can't find anything on it. I guess they don't do it anymore]   

       The point I think I'm trying to make is that when digital cameras become common on palmtops you could read a 2d barcode using the camera. OCR could also be done by the same route but then you not only have to recognise the characters but figure out what's what on the card.
st3f, Apr 03 2002

       The kind of bar-code scanner that you get for a PDA doesn't do 2D bar-code.   

       So this is a pretty bad idea.
hawkins, Apr 03 2002

       You are talking about the future. This will be part of your life. I'd like to be the one who makes it part of your life. Would you like to help me? Has anyone heard of any companies attempting to bring this to market. If so email me Dalyinnovations@aol.com . Otherwise SEND me your input. I'd love to get some feedback.
BArcodeguru, Jan 05 2003

       To add into a very interesting conversation... I have recently gone down the path of planning on creating a company to do just this. It's very possible to do and could be profitable. The huge unknown is the adoption rate.... Technology side: I created a 2D barcode (PDF417) with a relatively large font (8 or 10, I can't remember) and the highest level of correction to hold the usual business card contact information plus another 400 characters (I grabbed a webpage of a company). The barcode fit w/in the back of the business card w/ about 1/8" spare aroud the edges. The symbol size can be reduced if need be. Furthermore, I looked into webcam as a possible 2D reader and based on my initial research, it may have enough resolution to capture the barcode for later decoding. Since webcam is cheap, retrofitting the housing to make it easier to scan the cards is not out of the question... Selling points: people love paper so the business cards will be around for long time. This is the simplest way to get "analog" information into a "digital" world. Cards can be scanned in real-time so that valuable contacts (new contacts that count) can be saved right away. Companies can add in "marketing" info on their issued business cards. A few others... I recently stopped pursuing the business plan because I don't have the experience in consumer products business. I have always been a B2B guy. Contact me directly (thanh_nguyen_co@yahoo.com) if you want to talk further.
thanh, Jan 10 2003

       Another idea: A 2d barcode with enbedded large-size human-readable characters. Part of the barcode near the perimeter would contain a map of which portions of the barcode data should be ignored. Those portions could then have large human-readable text.
supercat, Jan 10 2003

       sappho's comments about partially encode barcode are very interesting. It is very doable and could make a great application for the emerging web services. A website somewhere houses the databases for the contact information. Once users scan in the encoded barcode, the website decodes the rest of the information. The website could be enterprises (that adopts the barcode for their employees) or an ASP w/ low subscription fee. I know that there are new personal/consumer barcode readers that are small enough to hang on keychains, not the CueCat from Radio Shack. Now people only need to encode the barcode w/ a 1D barcode instead of more costly 2D barcode. The cost of the reader has gone down (1D personal barcode is a lot cheaper than 2D barcode) so the rate of the adoption should go up... Anyone is interested in this new business?
thanh, Jan 12 2003

       Following on from the mention of video cameras - may be baked I guess - is there any software around that can read barcodes from a normal page-scanner or a video camera?
BunsenHoneydew, Jan 13 2003

       See link for an interesting product related to this idea - the CD-R business card. (Also for UK readers the site linked (www.mx2.co.uk) seems to be good value for all sorts of computer and camera consumables).
hippo, May 06 2003

       Time proves you were right Baboo. Today in 2011, the QR Code in business card is a world trend.   

       Halfbakery is achieving it's mission!
coxit-medium, Jul 14 2011


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