Microsoft has said consumers could interact with the new barcodes, using webcams and mobile phones with cameras.
Microsoft engineering director Gavin Jancke, who developed the new High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB), said the aim was not to replace the current barcode system, reports the BBC.
"It's more of a 'partner' barcode," he said. "The UPC barcodes will always be there. Ours is more of a niche barcode where you want to put a lot of information in a small space."
Up to 3,500 alphabetical characters of data can be stored into each square inch of the barcode.
Because the barcode can be read by mobile phone cameras, Microsoft claims that it can be used to go online.
Once scanned by a mobile, consumers could be taken to a website containing downloads or extra content, adds the BBC.