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QR code

Using a smartphone, users could scan QR codes to see encrypted 3D images (Photo: Shutterst...

Whether they're on product packaging, promotional materials or in magazines, most QR codes do the same thing – when a smartphone scans them with its camera, they trigger that phone's web browser to navigate to a given website. In the near future, however, they may be used to securely display 3D images on the user's phone, without even involving the often-untrustworthy internet.  Read More

Combined with Google Glass, the Ubic system could be used to thwart PIN thieves

While many of us worry about the ways in which Google Glass could be used to infringe on peoples' privacy, scientists at Saarland University in Germany have instead developed a process in which the high-tech eyewear could ensure privacy. More specifically, it would keep shady characters from obtaining your PIN while you used an automated teller.  Read More

Australia Post's Video Stamp lets gift-givers include a video message with their present

Email may have decimated snail mail, but luckily for postal services and couriers, packages aren't as easy to send as bits and bytes. This Christmas is likely to be another bumper year for presents being sent in the mail and Australia Post is providing gift-givers with the ability to attach a video message to their parcels.  Read More

A new optical disc uses QR codes etched in tungsten to achieve extreme levels of heat resi...

A researcher at the University of Twente in the Netherlands has developed a new optical memory disc out of tungsten and silicon nitride that he says could store data safely for extremely long periods of time – up to a billion years.  Read More

Smart Diapers feature a panel containing several non-toxic test strips to monitor irregula...

Diapers usually rank very low on the list of items in need of a high-tech upgrade, despite products like the TweetPee recently hitting the market. But unlike a Twitter-enabled diaper, which provides information that anyone with a nose could figure out on their own, a new diaper from Pixie Scientific could actually warn parents of health issues before they become serious. The Smart Diaper uses several reactive agents and an app to monitor irregularities in an infant's urine over time and alerts parents if they need to visit a doctor.  Read More

Mercedes-Benz plans to use QR codes to help rescue crews free people from car wrecks

Open a magazine, go to a shop, get handed a business card or look at a flyer and the odds are pretty good these days that you’ll be staring at a QR code. Those boxy little patterns turn any bit of paper into an interactive medium that, with a quick scan of a smartphone, will unleash all sorts of information, but can they save lives? Mercedes-Benz believes that they can and plans to use QR codes on all its future cars to help rescuers reach victims quickly and safely.  Read More

Sharetapes cards use NFC and QR codes to load playlists

Once upon a time, the analog cassette tape was king. And for those that remember the time, chances are you might also recall having made a mixtape or two as well. Australian-based start-up venture Sharetapes is looking to recapture a little of that old-school magic, albeit with a modern twist, by launching a line of physical cards that you can load-up with playlists from websites like YouTube, Spotify and 8tracks. Users can then share their saved lists with other people’s smartphones using near-field communication (NFC) technology or quick response (QR) scanning codes.  Read More

An AutoCAD rendering of one of the QR codes, being read by a smartphone

Along with the possibilities of fluorescing dyes and butterfly-wing-inspired printing techniques, there could soon be a new weapon in the fight against counterfeiting – invisible QR codes. Researchers at the University of South Dakota and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have developed a process for applying such codes to glass, plastic film, and paper products such as bank notes.  Read More

A new technology from startup SonicNotify will allow your smartphone to provide context-se...

A new startup called SonicNotify has developed a technology that will enable smartphone apps to receive data via high frequency sound inaudible to the human ear. Though limited, the signals would be sufficient to transmit, say, a web address that could be automatically opened by your smartphone. These frequencies could be embedded into any audio being played through a speaker, and provide contextual information to the user. So, museums and art galleries could effectively transmit detailed information on their exhibits via their apparently silent PA systems. The cliche applies, I'm afraid: the possibilities are unending.  Read More

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