Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 13:14.

barcode morse code reading is not human

Barcode is  “pulse” language.    A thin collimated light source is reflected back into a reading device - off the ink printed black and white surface - and converted into electric pulses.

Barcode is basically a high speed “Morse code” – so why does it seem inhuman? Just too complex for our brains?
Humans (used to – I learned it in Boy Scouts)  read Morse code, but do you think we will eventually read any of these bar codes?    Humans can read very complex images – so maybe it is just the type of (mainly linear) geometry in the barcodes which just turns us off as sterile?
If the present bar code complexity is beyond human recognition, think what is coming…machines can already read these bar cods – some are two dimensional –  and it  seems likely that before too long all digital images will be able to be machine  read and precisely identified and addressed. Video cameras already have software that identifies  faces and indexes frame sequences according to which individuals are in the sequence.
Soon you will be able to scan a unique image into Google (and other) image search engines and copies of that image on the internet will come back as hits.    There will be dialable filters to search for images which are similar to the scanned image.  
This machine scanning  technology will replace the human interface which was necessary to find the Mannie Garcia photograph which was the basis of Shepard Fairey’s  Obama “Hope” poster.


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