February 5, 2006

2D Barcodes: Shop with your Cell Phone


The day when shoppers will be able to walk into a store and use their cell phone to decide which products they want to buy is not far off. Semacode, a Canadian telecommunications company has developed opensource technology linking 2D barcodes with cell phone cameras and urls - in other words, scanning the barcode with your phone camera automatically links your display to the encoded website (2D barcodes can store much more information than their linear predecessors - the above barcode contains HSIM's mission statement and url).

Dara O'Rourke, assistant professor of Environmental and Labor Policy at Berkeley, has proposed applying this technology to product traceability - in theory, empowering consumers to make choices on the basis of back-end production information (i.e. how something was made) that could provide a competetive advantage to best-practice manufacturers. So, the next time you're at the supermarket wondering what 'free-range' really means, you might be able to see for yourself.


Posted by cdierks at February 5, 2006 1:46 PM
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