Microsoft has unveiled the latest Windows Live product: Barcode. Windows Live Barcode lets you create a two-dimensional bar code encoded with all of the information normally found on a business card, or even containing a personal message (up to 450 characters). Because it is merely a two-color image, it can be saved as a tiny little PNG you can share with no worries about bandwidth.
Here is my business card:
What’s this for? There’s supposed to be a Live Barcode application for Windows Mobile devices that will let you take pictures of cards or anything that has a Live Barcode on it. The app will decode the bar code. If it is text, you’ll be able to save it. If it is a business card, you will be able to view the information, edit any of it, and automatically import all of the information into your address book.
That means I could go to a conference, wear my Live Barcode around my neck, and just let other take pictures of my li’l image. Great way to save on business cards, and definitely the future, assuming they can gain enough traction on it. Luckily for everyone, the code generated is known as a QR Code, an accepted industry standard not owned by Microsoft, and really popular in Japan.
There are some really crappy programs to read QR Codes on Windows Mobile devices, so you’ll have to wait for Microsoft’s to come out to get some quality. For now, try out QuickMark, which works on a large number of Windows Mobile phones, if you can find a compatible variant. If you have the HTC Wizard/T-Mobile MDA like I do, the version for the 818 Pro is for you, although you will need to hold your phone upside down (don’t ask).
Could be a lot of fun. Someone just please find me some decent software, or Windows Live better start shipping soon. I’m excited about the possibilities.