Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a system called acoustic barcodes that registers the sound of a finger scraping across notches etched, embossed or cut into a surface, and converts it into a unique binary ID
An acoustic barcode patterned into an acrylic tag
Teaching aids enhanced with acoustic barcodes
Unique IDs carved on various parts of the ship can be swiped to access information on the different functions
The system is capable of using the internal microphone of mobile devices to register the acoustic barcodes
Acoustic barcodes can be incorporated into a variety of materials, including polystyrene (vacuum-formed), paper, transparency, wood, glass, acrylic, granite, and a 3D-printed object
The team also succesfully etched an acoustic barcode onto type 1 polyester transparencies
An acoustic barcode (B) is placed on a table (I), and a microphone (C) is attached. A fingernail (A) running over the barcode produces a series of mechanical vibrations (D), which propagate through the table and are captured by the microphone. The first sound is the initial impact of the finger (E). As the nail passes over the notches in the acoustic barcode, a series of sharp bursts of sound are produced (F). Finally, the finger lifts off or falls of the end of the barcode (G). The resulting waveform is processed, resulting in a decoded binary sequence (H).
For many of us, pointing a device at an object and retrieving data about it has become part of our daily lives. The vast majority of our purchases will sport the ubiquitous barcode; an increasing number of printed magazine adverts, online articles and even television shows are using QR codes for access to more information; and most recently, near field communication technology is opening up new ways to interact with the world around us. A team of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Heinz College Center for the Future of Work Carnegie Mellon University has been looking into an alternative object tagging system called acoustic barcodes. The system takes the sound of a finger, pen or phone scraping across a series of parallel notches etched, embossed or cut into a surface or object, and converts it into a unique binary ID.
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