Monday, August 03, 2009

Microsoft Tag

A High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB), also branded Microsoft Tag, is a type of barcode that uses shapes, instead of black-and-white lines or squares used by other barcode systems. HCCB is not intended to replace traditional barcodes, but rather enhance them by allowing more information to be stored.

Custom Tag

Creating Tags
  • Go to
  • Associate your Live id (hotmail email address is fine) with the Tag site and sign in.
  • Click on the 'Create Tag' button and follow the directions.
  • Tag can be of type Url, Contact card, or plain text.
  • Once tag is created, the information we provided is stored in Microsoft servers and a unique id is associated with it. This id is encoded in a graphical image to generate the tag.
  • Click on the 'Render' button to get the generated tag in the format of your choice (png, pdf, jpg, etc).
  • It is also possible to get it in custom format so that it can be used by overlaying on another image.
Using Tags
  • The tags can be used anywhere in web (sites, blogs, etc.) as images.
  • Tags can be printed and used on real world objects like books, product package, etc.
  • They can even be printed big for displaying on a hoarding.
Reading Tags
  • Tags are read using a mobile device having camera.
  • The device need to have a software named 'Microsoft Tag Application' or simply 'Tag Reader' which can be installed freely from
  • Start this application in your device and just point the camera onto to a tag to read it.
  • It works by decoding the id encoded in the image and then connecting to internet to get the associated details from Microsoft servers.

To see more samples, visit my workshop page on this at:

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