Acoustic Barcodes

Earlier this year, we discussed rocking out to barcodes via Barcode Band, but if you enjoy acoustics more, then you’re in luck.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University recently worked on acoustic barcodes, in which barcodes are physically etched onto a surface and a sound is produced when something is dragged across it. From there, a computer receives the sound through a microphone, recognizes the waveform and executes a command based off of it. Changing the amount of space between the grooves allows for endless unique identifiers to be associated with different actions.

So, how would acoustic barcodes be used in real-world applications? The possibilities are endless—think of them almost like QR codes, only no mobile device needed. For example, they could be used in storefronts for passerby’s to run their fingernail across, producing a sound and commanding a computer to say more detailed information about the item. Watch the video below to see more ways acoustic barcodes could be used in everyday life.

Read the detailed report here. Do you think acoustic barcodes have a place amongst the ever-expanding consumer barcode market? With different types of 2D barcodes and NFC already competing for consumer buy-in, is there room for acoustic barcodes? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.