Acoustic barcodes are about to make your life a lot easier
There are two problems with QR codes. First of all, they look like Mega Man went on a bender and barfed on whatever has a QR code on it. Secondly, to properly scan them involves taking a photo, which means hauling out your phone, opening a bar-code-scanning app, zapping the square… all of this for something that generally isn’t worth it.
How about running your finger across a strip, though? That would be easy to do. Enter acoustic barcodes.
Acoustic barcodes are pretty simple. By running a relatively hard object across the ridges of the code, like your phone, a pen, or your fingernail, it creates a noise that computers can easily read, a bit like broadcasting Morse code. You can print these out with a 3D printer and stick them to walls, for example. Here are a few examples:
Your phone picks up the noises, processes the command, and takes you to a website or otherwise spits out a code. If you’re wondering how this makes you life easier, it would make, for example, getting onto a transit website a snap. Or it could send your phone directions to find that out-of-the-way restaurant.
OK, so you’ll have to run your finger across an unfamiliar surface. But it’s not like you don’t know where your finger has been.
Acoustic Barcodes [Chris Harrison]