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High Capacity Color Barcodes: Per Channel Data Encoding via Orientation Modulation in Elliptical Dot Arrays

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2 Author(s)
Bulan, O. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA ; Sharma, G.

We present a new high capacity color barcode. The barcode we propose uses the cyan, magenta, and yellow (C,M,Y) colorant separations available in color printers and enables high capacity by independently encoding data in each of these separations. In each colorant channel, payload data is conveyed by using a periodic array of elliptically shaped dots whose individual orientations are modulated to encode the data. The orientation based data encoding provides beneficial robustness against printer and scanner tone variations. The overall color barcode is obtained when these color separations are printed in overlay as is common in color printing. A reader recovers the barcode data from a conventional color scan of the barcode, using red, green, and blue (R,G,B) channels complementary, respectively, to the print C, M, and Y channels. For each channel, first the periodic arrangement of dots is exploited at the reader to enable synchronization by compensating for both global rotation/scaling in scanning and local distortion in printing. To overcome the color interference resulting from colorant absorptions in noncomplementary scanner channels, we propose a novel interference minimizing data encoding approach and a statistical channel model (at the reader) that captures the characteristics of the interference, enabling more accurate data recovery. We also employ an error correction methodology that effectively utilizes the channel model. The experimental results show that the proposed method works well, offering (error-free) operational rates that are comparable to or better than the highest capacity barcodes known in the literature.

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 5 )