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Method of linking on-line data to printed documents

7,051,086

5/23/2006 12:00:00 AM

The present invention relates to linking on-line data to printed documents, such as business cards, envelopes, stickers, stationary, letterhead, resumes, etc. In one embodiment, a card-user registers with an on-line database and receives a gallery item including a steganographically-embedded unique identifier. The gallery item, such as a graphical background, text, shading, graphic, etc., is integrated and then printed with a document. The printed document can then be presented an optical-scanner, which outputs data. The output data is decoded to identify the unique identifier. The unique identifier is then used to index into the on-line database to retrieve information related to the proprietor of the document. In one embodiment, the on-line database includes features such as providing an immediate contact number, translation and/or pronunciation ability, and storage of audio/video files.