Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Input Devices Technology

Researchers Debut Barcode Replacement 185

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-still-not-used-to-the-square-ones dept.
eldavojohn writes "MIT Researchers have unveiled a new potential replacement for barcodes. Using an LED covered with a tiny mask and a lens, these new bokodes can be processed by a standard mobile phone camera and can encode thousands of times more information than your average barcode. New applications are being dreamed up by the team. Dr. Mohan of MIT said, 'Let's say you're standing in a library with 20 shelves in front of you and thousands of books. You could take a picture and you'd immediately know where the book you're looking for is.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Researchers Debut Barcode Replacement

Comments Filter:
  • CueCat (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shbazjinkens (776313) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:42AM (#28838097)
    Sounds about as useful as a CueCat.

    Nobody is in a library with 20 shelves in front of them. Computers do it better.
  • but it's powered (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yincrash (854885) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:43AM (#28838099)
    the cost per bokcode is like 20x-200x that of printing a barcode.
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:43AM (#28838129)
    Oh yay. Lets fill our landfills with more useless crap. Why the hell do I need LED's and battery is PACKAGING? They go into the trash! We as a society are trying to move towards LESS PACKAGING and recyclable packaging not MORE packaging. Is the consumer expected to rip out that LED and battery and recycle that separate for ever single ceral box they purchase?
  • by Important Remark (1604945) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:45AM (#28838151)
    Looking for books on shelves in libraries as a practical use for the latest technology?
  • Price? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hythlodaeus (411441) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:45AM (#28838163)

    If printing the code isn't effectively free, and a device to read it is more than $5, its not a replacement for bar codes.

  • by aicrules (819392) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:47AM (#28838205)
    Potential, but even at 5 cents each, they won't replace the bar code, nor should it really. It may replace the bar code for specific applications, but you're not going to convince frito lay that they need to plop one of these suckers on the millions bags of chips they crank out each day.
  • by topham (32406) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:49AM (#28838245) Homepage

    As a barcode replacement it sucks. However, the motion capture aspects looked pretty good. Using infrared would improve it as well since the camera can pick it up, but your eye would never notice it.

  • Brilliant! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gardyloo (512791) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:52AM (#28838317)

    'Let's say you're standing in a library with 20 shelves in front of you and thousands of books. You could take a picture and you'd immediately know where the book you're looking for is.'

    Gosh, that problem has never been approached before! That's a fabulous idea!

  • by backbyter (896397) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:53AM (#28838325)
    I would think RFID would be much better for the given example of a library. To expect the book spines to be completely visible would be a stretch.
  • by StreetStealth (980200) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:55AM (#28838369) Journal

    At the end of the BBC article, they mention that there are already prototypes based on reflectivity. Presumably, this would make the tags easily readable with an on-camera flash, possibly an infrared one.

    This part could make the tags a viable, low-cost alternative to RFID -- as long as your application involves line-of-sight, a 5-cent bokode looks pretty appealing next to a two dollar RFID tag.

  • by taustin (171655) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:57AM (#28838417) Homepage Journal

    New applications are being dreamed up by the team.

    If you have to "dream up new applications" for your brilliant new idea, it's not much of an idea. In fact, if the application(s) aren't obvious, and in fact, the inpriation for the idea, it's a stupid idea.

  • by SkipFrehly (1606577) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:16AM (#28838795) Homepage

    At the end of the BBC article, they mention that there are already prototypes based on reflectivity.

    Isn't that how bar codes work already?

  • Re:Price? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by localman57 (1340533) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:20AM (#28838897)
    I don't think the only issue is price. It's also one more item that needs lead time to manufacturing. One of the advantages of a bar-code is that the company who prints my boxes can print the bar code as part of their process. If I have to get a separate led mask generated for each of my products, that's going to require a whole different printing process, possibly requiring another vendor. And I'm guessing will involve an expensive setup process with lead time involved. These may not be at all economically viable for small-quantity products.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:35AM (#28839173)

    Did you consider the environmental impact of better inventory control? Probably not, because it is one of those things that you see in your world normally. The better we can handle inventory, we are allowed to have smaller warehouses, more optimal shipping methods, better use so it can be sold before it expires or become obsolete then tossed anyways. Environmentalism is weighing the cost and benefits. Not going crazy and saying no to progress.

  • by Animaether (411575) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:53AM (#28839523) Journal

    it's for advertising. If that isn't obvious to somebody who saw the top-most picture in the project page, then they need to think inside the box more.

    Nobody's going to use this for barcodes-as-we-know-them.
    They *might* replace something like a QR code encoding lots of information (rather than effectively a link to more information), but for almost anything worth describing, it's worth putting it there in plaintext.
    ( what, I'm going to go to a museum of modern art, and 'admire' a sculpture from 20 yards away just because the bokode can be read from that distance? I think not. )

    No, this is gonna be for advertising. Imagine you're taking some casual pictures of some friends in a night out in town. You just snap the shots, come home, and whoa - the entire out-of-focus background is laden with Coca~Cola, McDonald's, Ford and whatnot logos and other texts.

    The beauty of it is that they could combine it with existing light-based advertising displays. Every LED in the matrix displays at Times Square could easily have this bokode applied so that even if somebody's taking a picture of a competitor's matrix display making yours out of focus - yours will still stand out.

    ( I sure -hope- this won't actually be the case, but you know them wiley advertising people. )

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

Working...