Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Google Logo Celebrates The Barcode

Google's new logo is a barcode which, as far as we can tell, says "Google." Today is the 57th anniversary of the first patent on the bar code. Inventors Norman Woodland and Bernard Silver filed the patent on October 1949, and it was granted, No. 2,612,994 (pdf), on October 7, 1952. The original patent was for a system that would encode data in circles (a bulls eye pattern), so that it could be scanned in any direction

The barcode on the Google homepage is Code 128 encoded, which is a standard way of encoding ASCII character strings (ie. A-Z, a-z, 0-9, etc.) into a barcode. It would be safe to assume that Google used their own open source barcode project, ZXing, to generate the barcode. The same library is used in Android for barcode recognition.

Google regularly changes its logo for holidays and other special events. Here's their 10th birthday logo from last year, for example. More recently they celebrated Gandhi's birthday. Google hosts some of their holiday logos here, and fan created logos here.

We had to double check that the barcode in this instance was correct (some of the geeks here insist the barcode isn't 100% correct), since Google have previously messed things up a little when they try and talk geek dirty.

Please dont forget to leave a comments.. thanks and have fun



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