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Was that a barcode?

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To what point can an object be distorted while still being the same object? To what point can a barcode be transformed while keeping its stored information intact? Ah these age old questions. What does a barcode represent anyway? No one really cares about how it looks visually anyway. They only care about the information stored in the barcode. Now of course these two things are…wait for it… isomorphic, however no one thinks of the barcode in terms of how it looks, only in terms of information. Here we will take a look at both things:

design2I really liked the title of this design assignment. Specifically I really liked the word transformation. It got me thinking, If i take a barcode, and start erasing parts of it to make a picture, what would happen to the data. At what point will the data in the barcode be completely corrupted? So my idea then became, take the barcode and try to transform it without destroying the data.

I started with a barcode that stored the value 1. My idea then became to make the barcode display a 1 while still representing the value 1. It proved more difficult than I thought. I downloaded a free app onto my phone to read the barcode to see how my modifications changed the value of the barcode, and it seemed weird how the value would jump around. I finally got the above barcode to actually still read 1 sometimes!  I think it works because the data is encoded based on the width/spacing of the bars horizontally, so the missing portions of the image don’t destroy the data as long a the reader can see the top or bottom slice that’s actually still intact.

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