Why did Kodak eliminate the film edge stripe?
Using color stripes to identify film type and speed on consumer products has given way to new machine-readable DX codes. The newer DX codes are more exact, and are widely adopted across the photographic industry.
Kodak announced the discontinuance of colored edge stripes so that customers who may still be relying on the stripe codes would understand why this change is being made and what the new film identifications are. Customers can then make changes that are best suited to their purposes.
The earlier colored stripes along the edge of processed negatives were a convenient way for customers to distinguish one film from another. But the high number of films with combinations of colors and locations makes it difficult to distinguish the different codes from each other.
The new DX codes are machine-readable. They are read automatically by the camera from the film cassettes and then are read automatically by the photofinishing equipment after processing.
The alphanumeric information continues to be printed along the edge of Kodak film because it is more reliable to interpret and communicate within the lab, between labs, and from field processing labs back to Kodak.