Sunday Apr 01, 2007

NOTD - (NYT) Bar Codes and Mobile Phones

First post in a new category. Notd is like the unix motd, but with "News" instead of "Message". I'll make up the details of the category as I go, but the general topic will be a piece of daily news that seems specially interesting (to me) for one reason or another; let's see how long I can keep it up.

Downtown Tokyo showing one of the new Bar Codes

The NY Times has a piece on the new Bar Codes designed for Camera Phones. The basic idea is that these bar codes will be everywhere in the physical world; you just take a picture of the bar code and the software on your camera will decode it to pull the data from the web. Within this basic premise the possibilities seem unlimited: real-estate information, public transit, retail prices, driving directions, ads in print, etc, etc.

Given the market penetration of camera phones, and the increased network connectiviy, this seems a real winner. As the NYTimes puts it, the cellphone as the universal control. Add some locale awareness, some voice recognition, voice synthesis... The adoption may be very quick, we will see.