Trust the folks at MIT labs to not be outdone by the 3D barcode. The MIT News office has issued a report saying that researchers at the Media Lab have come up with a new kind of barcode. A video explanation is included. They are saying …the new system uses a whole new approach, encoding data in the angular dimension: Rays of light coming from the new tags vary in brightness depending on the angle at which they emerge. They further explain that The name Bokode comes from the Japanese photography term bokeh, which refers to the round blob produced in an out-of-focus image of a light source.
But what I can tell is that they have come up with an astonishingly small approach. The whole code, they say, is about the size of the @ symbol on a typical computer keyboard.
The new concept will be presented this August in New Orleans at SIGGRAPH. The lead author of the paper is Media Lab postdoc Ankit Mohan who said about the new bokode: “We’re trying to make it nearly invisible, but at the same time easy to read with a standard camera, even a mobile phone camera…” But remember, the thing is about 3 millimeters in diameter… and then they totally lose me with this statement: But in addition to being readable by any ordinary camera (with the focus set to infinity), it can also be read directly by eye, simply by getting very close — less than an inch away — to the tag.
It is smaller, can hold more information, is nearly invisible, can be read by eye, by camera, and they envision a bunch of new applications. In addition to conventional barcode applications, the team envisions… the tag could be in a tiny keychain-like device held by the user, scanned by a camera in the front of a room, to allow multiple people to interact with a displayed image, for example in a classroom or a business presentation. The camera could tell the identity of each person pointing their device at the screen, as well as exactly where they each were pointing. This could allow everyone in the room to respond simultaneously to a quiz, and the teacher to know instantly how many people, and which ones, got it right — and thus know whether the group was getting the point of the lesson… The devices could also be used for the motion-capture systems used to create videogames or computer-generated movie scenes.