Desperately Needed :
An Operating System "Barcode Recognition" Service

You can't decode
              these barcodes on any PC

Barcode recognition has for the past 25 years been either been
  • a closed source hardware service
  • a closed source software service
more often than barcode recognition on PC's has been implemented with proprietary hardware or proprietary software interfaces. This approach to decoding barcodes is no longer viable, and has severely stifled innovation and the useful deployment of barcodes.

Only by implementing a operating systems independent middleware service on personal (or embedded computers) could it become possible for barcodes to achieve their proper economic benefits. The side benefit of this service is that consumers that would usually not have access to barcode decoders would gain access to the technology. The service must however be 100% open source.

How it works

The operating system must interact with the barcode recognition service via this model
  1. The barcode image is copied to the OS clipboard or other like storage area
  2. The image is analyzed to find as many existent barcodes on its surface via open source decoders for each barcode type
  3. Each barcode is subsequently decoded regardless of its type
  4. All the recognized bar codes are passed via an XML wrapper to the host application

What would the Operating System service interface program be like?

It would be best if such a service had a lot of user interface commonalty with BOINC. However the ability to subscribe to new projects or quite one's subscription to a project would have to be removed. Although it is possible that there may be some theoretical utility in being able to subscribe to new barcode processing providers -- this would result in technological overkill. This complexity reduction could reduce the default binary size of the application to about 4 megabytes, as really not much more should ever be required.

What if you want to introduce a barcode generation service with the same utility?

Theoretically you could, but the libraries that generate the bar codes would have to be totally different from the libraries that decode the bar codes. There would have to be some XML or message passing interface to allow for calling programs to call a proper API and to have it return a proper image. The barcode generation subsystem should be as open source as the barcode decoding subsystem. However, the program should be able to accept binary libraries and APIs -- providing they have a user interface wrapper.

Operating System Services
BOINC Distributed Computing Service, a partial example of how a barcode decoding service might be implemented -- minus the external applications virturalization capability that is not applicable ...
Barcodes General Topic
Specific Barcode Types
Image Processing Pipelines
Related Readings etc ...

Created by

Initial Idea

Document Created

Last Revised
Version Revision State
Max Power
22 March 2006
01 September 2009
22 May 2014 (cleanup, spelling) 0.96b Final