Micha Benoliel

@anthenor

Bringing a Classic Ancient Binary Encoding Back to the Future

October 17th 2018
http://iching.codes — A free library to encode and decode using i-ching hexagrams

What does an ancient divination text have to do with the encoding of wallet addresses and modern age of technology

Ever since the invention of QR codes, people have seen fit to plaster them everywhere. Originally devised back in 1994 for the Japanese auto industry, they have since spread like wildfire into many other industries, especially advertising — mostly due to their fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.

There are even virtual stores in many places in the world that simply consist of photos of products and an associated QR code on a wall.

World’s largest spray painted QR code Felipe Pantone did in Belgium 🇧🇪 is a statement about UBIQUITY.

The best example was the Tesco QR Code Store in South Korea. It took over a subway station and created a virtual store exactly like the look & feel of the real thing (replete with high resolution images of products on store shelves), so people felt like they were inside the store buying their groceries. To shop, you simply load an app, snap the QR code below the photo of the product you wish to purchase and pay. Your order will be waiting for you by the time you get home from your commute.

While they’ve seen more use in some situations than others, you can’t argue that the idea behind QR codes is here to stay.

However, there is one thing most people can agree on; they are ugly.

When designers and advertisers were told to add QR codes to their work, you could see their forlorn grimaces. Now that most devices people carry with them at all times can read them, they are super useful, yet their aesthetic and appearance present major challenges.

So how do you create something as useful as a QR code, but make it attractive and beautiful

You reach back into the past for another visually pleasing framework and apply it to today.

The I Ching, a more than 3000-year-old system of divination with 64 simple hexagrams, was where we found the answer. We combined it with modern tech and envisioned a new, better-looking-than QR code replacement, pleasing both to humans and machines.

The I Ching or “Book of changes” is an influential text read throughout the world, which inspires the worlds of divination, psychoanalysis, literature, and art. Why not have it inspire technology as well?

Using this simple and elegant early encoding technique brings its rich history back to the world of today and tomorrow. We found that specific combinations of hexagrams were a great solution for presenting cryptocurrency wallet addresses and offer the crypto industry its own specific visual encoding solution.

It has the additional benefit of being a representation of data that can be scanned faster and easily applied and printed on a hardware module.

To decode the images, we looked at both a machine learning approach and an algorithmic approach and found that the latter didn’t require the same amount of resources in time and training samples, and can be tailored specifically for the required specifications.

There is an elegance and quiet simplicity to reusing these ancient, traditional and meaningful symbols, thus making them meaningful in whole new ways. They deliver a worthy, beautiful alternative to the unsightly QR code, and you can use them today to deliver your message in new and innovative ways.

See http://iching.codes for encoders/decoders and Github repos you too can use to create impressive iching codes and add the library into your own apps or websites. Here is a link to the white paper which includes some of the research: https://docsend.com/view/r3drhq7

Encoding of “Freeconnectivityfortheworld” using iching.codes

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