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Science

Anti-counterfeiting 3D barcodes could be molded into products

Although barcodes are currently utilized mainly to keep track of merchandise, they may soon also be used to detect counterfeit goods. We're not talking about ordinary barcode labels, however. Instead, British scientists at Sofmat Ltd and the University of Bradford have devised a new 3D barcode that's actually molded into plastic or composite items.Read More

Games

Super-precise motion tracking system uses projected "barcode" light patterns

Motion-tracking systems like Wii and Kinect have certainly changed the way we play video games – among other things – but some people still complain that there's too much of a lag between real-world player movements and the corresponding in-game movements of the characters. The creators of the experimental Lumitrack system, however, claim that it has much less lag time than existing systems ... plus it's highly accurate and should be cheap to commercialize. Read More

Science

Is that a real Gucci? Just check its DNA

Earlier this year, we heard about a gun and a fogging system, both of which tag criminals with synthesized DNA. The idea is that when those people are apprehended later, they can be linked to the crime by analyzing the location- or event-specific DNA still on their skin or clothing. Now, scientists at the Technology Transfer Unit of Portugal's University of Aveiro are developing something similar – DNA "barcodes" that can be applied to products, then subsequently read as a means of identification. Read More

Science

Acoustic barcode system allows scratch and scan data retrieval

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.Read More

Mobile Technology

Graffiti goes virtual with augmented reality app LZRTAG

Several years ago, every inch of the New York City Subway system – along with other public transportation systems around the world, was covered in graffiti. Now there's fewer tags, but more ways to express yourself. The virtual world is one new venue for graffiti and the art of tagging. Augmented reality app LZRTAG is hoping to advance those tags to images and even animations, but you need a smartphone to make that happen.Read More

Mobile Technology

iCache Geode digital wallet for iPhone released

iCache Inc has announced the release of the Geode, a secure digital wallet for the iPhone 4 and 4S, which the company states to be the first of its kind, worldwide. Available in several colors and simultaneously acting as a protective case for your iPhone, the Geode is a device which promises to store all your credit, debit and loyalty cards in one secure platform - turning an average trip to the grocery store into something which resembles a scene from a James Bond movie. Read More

Electronics

New supermarket scanner recognizes objects by appearance, not barcodes

At some point, we’ve probably all had a supermarket cashier ask us to identify the mysterious fresh produce that we’re attempting to buy. Once we’ve told them what it is, they have then had to manually type in its code – they have to enter it themselves, of course, given that fruits and vegetables don’t have barcodes. Thanks to Toshiba Tec, however, those days may be coming to an end. The company’s new Object Recognition Scanner is able to instantly identify grocery items of all types based on their appearance alone.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Condoms with QR codes track sites of safe sex

Over the past few years, it seems almost impossible to even take a trip to the grocery store without bumping into dozens of QR codes - those square graphics that can be scanned with a smartphone camera to bring up all sorts of information. Now it appears a Seattle-based organization has found another place to put them: in your pants. In hopes of promoting safe sex, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest distributed 55,000 condoms with QR codes that track when and where people make the beast with two backs through their website, WhereDidYouWearIt.com.Read More

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