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Visually Significant Barcodes (VSB)


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A Visually Significant Barcode (or Graphical Barcode) differs from the traditional two-dimensional (2-D) barcodes such as  PDF-417 in that it has the appearance of a graphical image.  A PDF-417 consists of seemingly random dots that do not resemble anything graphical.

A Visually Significant Barcode (VSB) is a binary image which looks like an iconic image or an acronym of a company logo. A Visually Significant Barcode is generated by modulating the halftoning methods according to a base image and the input bit string [1].  The bit string can be compressed, error-corrected and secured by any typical cryptography. 

An extension of the VSB is the Image Barcode (IBC) [2].  The encoding and decoding of information using the VSB, uses a base image with very few graylevels (typically only two). This typically requires the image histogram to be bi-modal. This is indeed the case for the class of logo images or icons. For continuous-tone images such as digital photographs, we extend the concept of a VSB to an image bar code (IBC) that is able to render shades of gray.

For the technical details, please refer to the following publications:

[1] D. Shaked, Z. Baharav, A. Levy, J. Yen and N. Saw "Graphical Indicia", Proc. IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, vol. 1, pp. 485-488, Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 14-17, 2003. (PDF)

[2] N. Damera-Venkata and J. Yen, “Image Barcodes”, Proc. SPIE Color Imaging VIII: Processing, Hardcopy and Applications, vol. 5008, pp. 493--503, Santa Clara, CA January 20-24, 2003. (PDF)


For more information about the technology, please contact Jonathan Yen (jonathan_yen@hp.com), Doron Shaked (doron.shaked@hp.com), or Niranjan Damera-Venkata (niranjan.damera-venkata@hp.com).

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