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I was in hospital today and given a bracelet with a bar code, a 2D matrix and, in clear text, my name, the bar code number, date of birth, and age.

Looking at the 2D matrix, i noticed that every 4 "pixels" that formed a checkerboard pattern, there seem to be some small, black "blotches" inside the white pixels - but only when there was a checkerboard quadruple, not when there is one white next to three black pixels in an L shape. The blotches seem similar, but are not exactly similar. The rest of the print is razor sharp, so I highly doubt it's a hardware problem with the printer.

Would this be a "bug" somewhere in the software chain noone noticed or is this somehow an intentional feature?

The 2d Matrix with small subdots in "checkerboard" quadruples Detail of said matrix

P.S. For the 5 different checkups, 4 medical staff members asked me for my birthdate and typed it in, only one actually scanned the bracelet - but the old-fashioned barcode part of it. P.P.S. The data matrix encodes (according to the scanner app I have) "AC182495717", which is not the number the bar code encodes (a 10-digit decimal number starting with 10000)

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  • I think this is the wrong place to put this question, try stackoverflow or a stackexchange that's more relevant to this question. I don't think there's anything to do with UX in this question Jun 23, 2023 at 21:28
  • Thx. I searched and most Matrix code printing questions turned up on UX.stackexchange - though I doubted myself.
    – IIVQ
    Jun 24, 2023 at 8:42
  • Huh? That's interesting. I could look into the spec to find out why those notches are there btw. I've noticed that most times when the "close question" hammer is used is on platform/app specific questions. Jun 24, 2023 at 8:54
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    I’m voting to close this question because it’s off topic.
    – jazZRo
    Jun 26, 2023 at 16:44

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OK, so I did some research, I think your first hunch about this being a "bug" or at the least, an issue with the printer. From my understanding the scanner will probably just ignore the small artifacts. It's more interested in the blocks of data.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cswo_6kj0Ug

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k09ip9Z6TCk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=142TGhaTMtI

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