While QR codes
and their ilk
have been big in Japan for years, they haven't exactly been quick to catch on 'round these parts, where we've had to be content with old school bar bodes for our product identification needs. Microsoft looks to be trying to change that situation, however, with the company set to roll out its so-called High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) later this year with the assistance of the International Standard Audiovisual Number International Agency (ISAN-IA). While their use will apparently initially be limited to DVD media, Microsoft eventually sees the codes being used on TV, in magazines, and on billboards (among other places), from which you'll be able to scan 'em with your cellphone to get additional information about a product. Of course, good looks are the codes' only selling point, with Microsoft also promising that they'll make anything tagged with them harder to counterfeit.