New barcode technology coming out of MIT

Engadget: “Since barcodes are the sign of the devil (must be true, we read it on the interwebs) it’s no surprise thateveryone wants to replace ’em. QR codes have been quite popular, allowing people and companies to tag their stuff with colorful decals filled with bits and bytes, and of course RFID tags are still going strong, but a team of researchers at MIT has come up with something better: Bokode. It’s effectively a tiny little retroreflective holograph that is just 3mm wide but, when a camera focused to infinity sweeps across it, the Bokodes become clear and appear much larger, captured in the video below. In this way they can contain “thousands of bits” of data and, interestingly, show positional information too, meaning the camera knows where in 3D space it is in relation to the tag. This, of course, has hundreds of potential applications ranging from grocery shopping to augmented reality, and should lead to new and exciting ways for scholars to interpret/misinterpret Revelations.” – I first saw this information yesterday in a link to a BBC News article that was floating around Twitter. I can see use for such barcode technology in pharmacy. In the BBC article, Dr. Mohan (one of the MIT researchers) makes a comment that while standing in front of thousands of books “You could take a picture and you’d immediately know where the book you’re looking for is.” Now, replace the word ‘book(s)’ with ‘drug(s)’ and you will understand my interest. More information can be found here.

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