Bokode – Amazing New Type of Barcode

I find the next piece of research so amazingly cool that I can’t understand how I’ve missed for so long (a whole three days!). Submitted to next month’s SIGGRAPH, MIT’s Media Lab Bokode is a new way to visually code information.
I’m not going to try to explain the technology behind it (that’s what the paper for), but it a nutshell it uses a small light source to create an image consisting of thousands of pixels. The pixels are only discernible when a camera is looking at the Bokode while its focus is set to infinity. I hope the next video explains it better:

As the video above shows, there are very nice implications to augmented reality. Aside from coding the identity of the object, it can also encode how’s the object positioned in comparison to your camera. Though, if I understood correctly, the demonstration above uses two cameras, one shooting the object in focus, while the other looks at the Bokode.
Another obstacle in the way of wide adoption is that the Bokode currently requires an energy source to operate. Nevertheless, it has already taken a step in the right direction, and currently have a short page on Wikipedia.
More information here and here. Via

4 Responses

  1. I wonder if this could be done with the non-visible light spectrum.
    IR light can be picked up with webcams, for example. (in fact, all thats stopping most webcams from picking it up, is a filter in front of them).

    Non-visible light might be more user-friendly, rather then having lots of red dots everywhere.

    Plus, I can see it being adapted for next-gen Wii-like devices.

  2. @Darkflame, MIT are developing a passive version which isnt powered, it would have to use reflected light from a camera flash to be read which might limit the distance it can be read from, more info here –

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