Thursday, October 05, 2006

Audio Bar Codes, 3D Displays

DoCoMo is advertising a new feature on some of its phones: audio bar codes. For quite a while now it has been possible to use your cell phone camera to snap a picture of a bar code and be transported to a web site with product information (including provenance of fish or produce, at least in theory; in practice it usually seems to be promotional material). Now they have a new way to send you small amounts of information, such as a URL: high-frequency sound. You're walking down the street assaulted by the usual battery of recorded touts begging you to come in and buy something, and now your keitai (cell phone) can get in on the fun, too, picking up a URL or two out of the cacophony. Of course, I'm sure they intend to see the equipment to broadcast such audio, too.

The ad I saw this in had a link to NTT's R&D website, but a quick glance there doesn't turn up anything about the audio bar codes. I did see a press release about a 3D lenticular display that tracks the position of the user to optimize the 3D-ness of the image, as well as one about a water-based fuel cell for cell phones being jointly developed with Aqua Fairy.


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