Microsoft Tag reinvents the QR Code/Data Matrix

January 12, 2009


Microsoft has released its answer to QR Codes and Data Matrixes with the appropriately named Microsoft Tag.

Using colours and shape-orientation, the tags are designed to display more information in a smaller place, as well as work when out of focus, which works a lot better with mobile devices where the focal distance is fixed.

Readers for many mobile phones (including the iPhone!) have been released and can be downloaded by browsing to on your mobile device.

You can read more, and make your own tags at

I was very impressed with how well it worked on my iPhone. I’ve tried lots of QR/Data Matrix readers out but the poor quality of the camera in the iPhone has always let me down. The Tag worked without a hitch.

They’re still in beta, so no word on if there will eventually be a cost to use these.

Face Recognition of Photos in Google Picasa 3

September 3, 2008

This Tuesday Google is set to launch facial recognition in it’s photo managment software according to cnet (here).

Why is this important? Firstly Picasa (here) is still the best photo managment desktop software on the market (and it’s free). I’ve been using it for a few years, have tried all the competitor products and it wins hands down every time. Note: It’s not as social as Flickr – so I use them both.

Picasa3 will find and sort all the photos of the same person.

Facial recognition: I have about 18,000 digital photos sitting on my drive at home. Picasa handles them all nicely – but sorting, tagging etc is a nightmare. Finding a photo of someone is a manual process – this will hopefully correct that. The idea – tag one photo of a person and Picasa will do the rest. It’s apparently not perfect – but this will be a huge jump for Picasa.