New Barcode—Bokode Invented by MIT Researchers


Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab have invented a new kind of barcode that could provide useful information to consumers, teachers, business professionals and the like. Basically, Bokode is a new way of encoding visual information by using an angular dimension—rays of light coming from the new tags vary in brightness depending on the angle at which they emerge.

The Bokodes are very small in size, measuring only 3 milimeters across, but can hold much more information (thousands of bits) than typical barcodes. At the moment, the Bokodes require a lens and a built-in LED light source, but in the future, researchers would like them to be reflective, similar to holographic images now on credit cards, making them much cheaper and easer to use.

Bokodes can also be read from a longer distance than regular barcodes, and don’t require a laser scanner to be read, so they can be easily scanned using a cell phone camera. Since they can also hold more information, Bokodes could be used in supermarket applications, allowing shoppers to easily perform product comparisons by scanning several items at once. Basically, any applications that QR codes are currently being used for, Bokodes could provide a sleeker alternative. Check out the video below to learn more.