Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Color Bar Code

Color Bar Codes to Add Another Dimension
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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This Would be cool. Instead of looking at the same old B&W barcode, we could look at a really colorful barcode with some kind of cool design. Forget it. It is just one side to it. Imagine a Bar Code that is Green and Turns Red as soon as the milk in the Bottle nears the expiration date and gets erased when the expiration date is reached. Imagine If a barcode could blend in with the color ofthe item so that it doesn't look all that ugly
concept, Jul 09 2003

Digital Watermarks http://www.digimarc.com/
Some info on digital watermarking features and applications [dweeb, Oct 04 2004]


       //so that it doesn't look all that ugly//
Not a utilitarian then...Personally barcodes are quite elegant.

No bone though as your suggestion for "Colour" barcodes could look good; so long as current scanners can pick them up.
silverstormer, Jul 09 2003

       Somewhat baked. A Korean company offers a small square 2D color bar code. I didn't save the link from a few months ago but I might find it eventually. As for inconspicuous, digital watermarks [link] can be embedded in the backgound or pictures of a product and be imperceptable. They can be made to function exactly the same as a barcode. They can also be read (using new software) with many existing barcode scanners - especially the 2D barcode scanners that require imaging sensors.   

       As for the detection of spoiled milk or expiration timing, that's a chemical/ink problem that is independent of the barcode/watermark but is easily added.
dweeb, Jul 10 2003

       Why not make Tartan bar codes? There are hundreds of possible combinations and in a matrix configuration there could be many more. It would look more pleasing than the black and white bars used today.
Amishman35, Nov 26 2004

       Agreed coloured bar codes are baked but the disappearing bar code is very clever, preventing purchase of out of date stock. Anybody know how difficult it would be to get ink to fade with time accurately?   

       I know it could be easily done with temperature, bottles Newcastle Brown Ale have a star which appears only when the beer is sufficiently chilled.
etherman, Nov 26 2004


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