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And You Thought It Was Sci Fi

By - February 16, 2006

Reader Bob noticed a bar code scanning phone, which is part of the technology needed to make my local search/physical search wine anecdote happen. Cool!


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11 thoughts on “And You Thought It Was Sci Fi

  1. Todd says:

    John, who needs bar code readers? Companies like Nevenvision (www.nevenvision.com) enable product search based on image recognition. Your wine scenario is enabled by combining services and data from Nevenvision + Cellartracker.com(label images) + wine-searcher.com (price data).

  2. Dear John,

    Love your site and am sorry to post this as a comment but I couldn’t find a Contact link. I’m writing to you as the founder of http://www.TheRememberingSite.org – a new non-profit organization that allows anyone anywhere to write, store, share, and print their life story.

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    We’d love it if would you tell your readers about us and also link to us.

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    Sarah McCue
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  3. Dear John,

    Love your site and am sorry to post this as a comment but I couldn’t find a Contact link. I’m writing to you as the founder of http://www.TheRememberingSite.org – a new non-profit organization that allows anyone anywhere to write, store, share, and print their life story.

    The site offers an online autobiography that you easily and quickly complete by answering from one to one thousand questions about your life. We also feature completed biographies from interesting people from around the planet.

    All of your readers have led interesting lives, and it’s time to write about them through http://www.TheRememberingSite.org -

    We’d love it if would you tell your readers about us and also link to us.

    Sincerely,
    Sarah McCue
    Founder

  4. EnergyGuru says:

    Why even bother with a barcode reader on the phone? Surely with the technology that Riya is developing you could just take a picture of the UPC on your phone and have some kind of optical recognition. Should be much easier than Riya’s facial recognition since it’s all about bar widths and numbers.

  5. John says:

    Amazon Japan Offers Barcode Purchases via Camera Phone
    Posted by timothy on Wed Nov 24, ’04 04:12 AM
    http://slashdot.org/articles/04/11/24/0545244.shtml

  6. John says:

    Also check out:

    http://www.scanr.com/
    Scan, copy and fax with your camera phone or digital camera.

  7. Wai Yip Tung says:

    This is a great piece of technology I’m looking for. In my mind it is a low cost UI technology that can help extend the online world to offline locations.

    A use case is to enhance to the http://www.nextbus.com service. Nextbus tracks buses position and tells passengers when a bus is likely to arrive via a LED panel available in some selected bus shelter. It is a big relief for passengers over the unpredictable bus schedule in real life. But that LED panel costs money to install and is only available in selected locations. The is a phone in version, but heck, by the time you get through the voice menu, the bus may have arrived already.

    One alternatively to the costly LED panel is to print posters with a URL to get the real time information. This costs penny and can be designed into the system map. Now except a few thumb keyboard champion a long URL is quite a hassle to enter with a phone. This is when a bar code reader can be useful. On the poster it can say ‘For bus arrival time scan here with the barcode phone ||||||||’. That would be a painless way to refer people to online information service using the ubiquitous cell phone.

    In effect we can think of a poster as a printed webpage and the barcode an offline version of hyperlink. It can be a low tech and low cost way to interact with people in offline locations.

  8. eTheus says:

    If companies want to participate in scanning barcodes to access internet content for mobile marketing, promotions, comparative info, or whatever brand managers might want, they should talk to Neomedia Technologies. Their IP portfolio and technology, which includes Mobot image recognition, is very strong and broad. However, unlike many companies that use their IP position to muscle companies out of a space, Neomedia invites innovators to work with them, licence the IP, and grow the space together. If there’s one thing that’s exciting in all of tech, it’s the inevitability of the real world linked to the Internet.

  9. Jeff says:

    Regarding Todd’s comment on Nevenvision’s image recognition as an alterative to bar code cell phone scanning technology: Where is that technology? It doesn’t exist. It may be easy to show a demo with a small image library, or by using OCR to decode standard text on images. But there is no production software in the world today that allows a user to use a camera phone to take an image of any wine label and do an accurate one-to-one match of an image (not to mention that user’s take pictures in all sorts of lighting conditions and real-world scenarios that don’t comprise contrived demos). Furthermore, why would a user want to wait to download an image from their camera phone over a carrier network, when they can use a bar code reader on the phone to do a quick decode and then price lookup. I don’t think they would. Bottom line: we are a ways away from image recognition on a camera phone that represents a useful application for the paying consumer. Enough of the hype. Let’s see some real applications that I can sign up for today via an ASP model as a cell phone user. I suspect that the “real world” camera phone image rec is not as simplistic as Todd makes it out.

  10. Jeff says:

    Regarding Todd’s comment on Nevenvision’s image recognition as an alterative to bar code cell phone scanning technology: Where is that technology? It doesn’t exist. It may be easy to show a demo with a small image library, or by using OCR to decode standard text on images. But there is no production software in the world today that allows a user to use a camera phone to take an image of any wine label and do an accurate one-to-one match of an image (not to mention that user’s take pictures in all sorts of lighting conditions and real-world scenarios that don’t comprise contrived demos). Furthermore, why would a user want to wait to download an image from their camera phone over a carrier network, when they can use a bar code reader on the phone to do a quick decode and then price lookup. I don’t think they would. Bottom line: we are a ways away from image recognition on a camera phone that represents a useful application for the paying consumer. Enough of the hype. Let’s see some real applications that I can sign up for today via an ASP model as a cell phone user. I suspect that the “real world” camera phone image rec is not as simplistic as Todd makes it out. If Toshiba (the company making the bar-code reader) could do image rec, they would.

  11. Slav says:

    The site offers an online autobiography that you easily and quickly complete by answering from one to one thousand questions about your life. We also feature completed biographies from interesting people from around the planet.