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Tag of the Week: The Secret and the 2D Barcode

TagMaster_SecretCodeWhen I was a kid I remember how cool it was to have anything secret, but a secret code was really something special. To have a secret code and decoder ring was the ultimate prize.

Now several decades later I have again fallen in love with the secret code and decoder.

Forty-five years ago no one would have dreamed of a hand held device with all of the features of a smart phone, that when pointed at a 2D bar code would also be the modern day equivalent of the decoder ring.

A secret is only a secret if no one or very few people know of it. You may have seen my 2D Tag art before and not realized that you were actually looking at a 2D bar code.

I would bet that you don't recognize the custom 2D Tag that is accompanying this article as anything but a pretty picture. Think of the smartphone as your modern day decoder ring and the image as a secret code. Using the Microsoft Tag Reader app and with your decoder you can unlock the "Top Secret Message."

The kind of things that kids can only dream of and that only a kid at heart could have dreamt up.

Scan the "Secret Code" with your Tag Reader App to unlock the message.

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Steve O'Connor
+1 #7 Steve O'Connor 2012-01-05 08:04
With any 2D Code, the more you alter them, the higher the chance of scan failure. It all depends on the aim of the code I guess. If it's to be read by as many people as possible, the alterations need to be reigned in a little, imho.
Steve O'Connor
+1 #6 Steve O'Connor 2012-01-05 07:16
@craig I tested it on a Hazro HZ27WC, a Macbook Pro and a Dell 2007WFP. Using an iPhone 4S and an iPhone 3GS it failed on all three. It was an assumption that it hadn't been tested on an iPhone because of this so apologies if it was.
Craig Aberle
+1 #5 Craig Aberle 2012-01-04 11:59
Steve - they are tested with an iPhone. Different monitors produce different quality results. Different phones have different lenses. Any suggestions on how to increase the scan performance for our readers?
Steve O'Connor
+1 #4 Steve O'Connor 2012-01-04 10:13
Interesting. I was using an iPhone 4S and couldn't get it to scan at all. I just tried it with a Samsung Galaxy S II and it scanned immediately.

Experimenting with formats is great, but I'm surprised if this wasn't tested on an Apple device.
Craig Aberle
+1 #3 Craig Aberle 2012-01-04 09:53
I tested the image on this page and it scanned for me. Using an Android HTC Evo. What kind of phone are you using to scan?
Steve O'Connor
+1 #2 Steve O'Connor 2012-01-03 08:54
I have tried on a couple of different screens, but I can't get the image used in the article to scan with the Tag app.
+1 #1 ROBERT D. R. DACOSTA 2012-01-01 13:55
from one artist to another this is: great art, great creavity, great concept.. and oh yes a lovely article..you've got it going!