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Image Recognition on Mobile Phones 115

mysticalgremlin writes "In a recent presentation, Semacode founder Simon Woodside presents his company's bar code scanning technology that is used in mobile phones. Simon also discusses many places where bar code scanning powered phones are being used. Not bad for an 'image recognizer for a 100 MHz mobile phone processor with 1 MB heap, 320x240 image, on a poorly-optimized Java stack'"
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Image Recognition on Mobile Phones

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  • Bar code? (Score:4, Funny)

    by RedOregon ( 161027 ) <redoregon&satx,rr,com> on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:30AM (#15823985) Homepage Journal
    And here I thought a bar code was a hand signal you used to let everyone in a large crowd, in a noisy bar, know where you were going next.

    Like standing up and holding up five fingers to let everyone know the next bar is the "Five Spot".

    Oh well, live and learn.
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:35AM (#15823999)
    Surely you mean "phone-powered bar code scanning", ie using the phone to scan bar codes, not powering the phone by scanning bar codes...
    • by SnowZero ( 92219 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:39AM (#15824012)
      Surely you mean "phone-powered bar code scanning", ie using the phone to scan bar codes, not powering the phone by scanning bar codes...

      Perhaps the product is aimed toward use IN SOVIET RUSSIA?
    • All you need to harness energy is an area of low entropy... The bar code certainly qualifies!
    • by andrewman327 ( 635952 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @08:09AM (#15824338) Homepage Journal
      Cuecat + cell phone = next big thing? I find it a little hard to believe, but with everything else that they have been throwing into phone I guess this makes some sense.


      My favorite use for this would be to conduct instant price comparisons. If I see something that I like, I would like to be able to check the price against Froogle, MySimon, etc.

      • My favorite use for this would be to conduct instant price comparisons.

        Be prepared to be ushered out of the store. Chain stores frequently use "secret shoppers" for price comparisons in their areas, and they used to use small handheld scanners for data entry. I bet cell phones are high on the list of inconspicuous tools now, though. Either way, if they're spotted they're shown the door.

        Home Depot (and others) also have "No Cameras or Recording Devices" signs posted, so I'm sure they think they reser

        • by andrewman327 ( 635952 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @09:17AM (#15824649) Homepage Journal
          Their real concern in banning cameras is not competitors learning their prices. After all, they pay lots of money to publish their weekly flier in the Sunday paper. If a secret shopper wants prices they can also bring a pad and pen to the store and write down the SKUs and costs. When I shop at Home Depot I usually have a notebook with all of my measurements and requirements for whatever I am doing. I highly doubt that most associates would stop someone from walking around writing things down.


          The real concern is criminals casing the place for a robbery. Even larger stores can be hit by violent crime. I am an avid amateur photographer and I know my rights. Stores have every right to prevent pictures while you are in their building, but they cannot stop you from photographing their store from the street. (Disclaimer: IANAL). If I were a manager and I saw someone taking pictures of the roof, guards, alarm systems, et cetera, I would definitely throw them out. If theives want to hit a store they also need to know where the expensive stuff is kept, so they would be photographing the products.


          When I am at Comp USA most of their (otherwise frustrating) sales reps allow me to use their computers to compare the prices of items at other stores. I have bought more from them after learning that they were the best deal during their huge sales. If I walked in with a camera, that would be a different story.

        • ...I know I'd be calling a lawyer if they said "boo" to me about it.

          Come on, something simple like that should not need the interference of a lawyer? Lawyers might have their place in society but their involvement with day-to-day live should be as minimal as possible. Call the shop manager instead and have him explain why they tell you to photograph ceiling fans in their commercials and when you then act as a gullible sheep and do exactly what their marketroids told you they start whining.

          No lawyer needed

    • Obviously he meant powered phones as opposed to paper cup phones [howstuffworks.com].
  • Not bad... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SnowZero ( 92219 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:35AM (#15824002)
    Beleive it or not this is pretty impressive. Computer vision gets quite difficult when you don't have a lot of pixels to work with, as the shapes are all "helpfully" smeared together by the imager. And with the cheap lenses in camera phones, edges can be smeared by more than one pixel. In some of my prior work doing vision systems for Sony Aibos for RoboCup, we had to deal with similar problems (find an orange ball in an image that may be only 3x2 pixels, while ignoring the boundaries between red and yellow objects). So, kudos for the technical achievement, and hopefully they find a better application than the cuecat :)
    • Re:Not bad... (Score:2, Informative)

      by RileyCR ( 672169 )
      This is impressive. However this has been going on for a while. And not just barcodes. ABBYY for example has a complete SDK for barcode and full OCR. They use it to extract all bacodes and text on a cell phone, i believe currently support symbian and windows mobile.
    • Re:Not bad... (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Err ... I've been using my mobile phone's camera as a QR code (2D bar code) scanner on my SonyEriccsson from 3 years back, using the mobile phone's bundled app. Japan has this for years and it got to slashdot today?
    • Re:Not bad... (Score:2, Informative)

      by phoebe ( 196531 )

      Although Japan and Russia got there a bit quicker ... Intelcom provide a encoder and decoder Java toolkit [intelcom.ru] for mobile phones [intelcom.ru]. Japan have a Sourceforge Java project [sourceforge.jp] for encoding and decoding too.

    • object recognition (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gr8dude ( 832945 )

      In some of my prior work doing vision systems for Sony Aibos for RoboCup, we had to deal with similar problems (find an orange ball in an image that may be only 3x2 pixels, while ignoring the boundaries between red and yellow objects).

      Could you tell me which approach was used in your project? I mean, I don't need an uber-detailed description, just some key facts; ex: "we used correlation", or maybe you applied some sort of scaling\rotation - invariant techniques, etc.

      As a student, I experimented with i

      • Actually, you can't generate a circle with 5 pixels; however, you can generate a cross. Ever seen a 1 pixel circle, it's a square. Maybe a low res bar code scanner isn't such a big deal because, since pixels are squares the image only needs to generate uniform stacks of either black or white pixels. However, I would guess the minimum pixel size would still have to be as wide as one of the standard bar-code widths to be accurate?
    • I saw this presentation. It sucks. Woodside pointed it at his mom, and the damn thing thought it was his aunt.
  • Other uses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HugePedlar ( 900427 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:37AM (#15824007) Homepage
    Some years ago, I read an article about the possibility of printing tiny barcodes in newspaper stories that would code for a website address. You'd use a special reader that interfaces with your PC to visit the referenced site. This was supposed to be easier than typing in a lengthy, complicated URL.

    We've got around this, mostly by having nice succinct URLs and tinyurl.com for everything else, and who wants to carry a barcode reader with them when they're reading the paper?

    However, I wonder whether this idea may have some re-interest. If your mobile phone can read barcodes, we could print them anywhere - in papers, on billboards, TV adverts - and all you'd need to do is take a photo and your phone automatically loads the webpage in its built-in browser.

    That might be useful.
    • by cnettel ( 836611 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:44AM (#15824029)
      Fancy a set of scrabble-like plastic pieces, with additional barcode cues (barcode + distinct letter form would be easier than just the letter). Then you "set" your text message almost like on an old-style printing press, take a snapshot and voilà!

      Coming next: Non-invasive optical punch card recognition. Preserve your valuable yellow-tinted records in pristine condition, while emulating your IBM from the 60s on the cellphone.

      • The only tricky bit (for tricky read "damned near impossible" (for "damned near" read totally)) would be getting all the manufacturers to work together using the same standard...

        If it's not universal if it was to be supported by the media you'd need a couple of inches for the article and another 3 pages for the scanning sections (for Nokia, scan here; For Samsung scan here, etc).

        At least bar codes is kind of established... but you'd still need to store a bar code mapping somewhere - in the tinyurl vein perh
      • Re:Other uses (Score:2, Informative)

        by zeropaper ( 959464 )
        and there's also Semapedia.org who's using semacode to load content from wikipedia (related to a place) really nice idea
    • Something like this [wikipedia.org]? They tried this with Wired magazine and some others. I tired to convince my girl at the time to let me use it on her as a marital aid, but surprisingly enough, she refused. Maybe she was afraid I'd find her bar code.
    • Re:Other uses (Score:5, Informative)

      by mehu ( 92260 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:05AM (#15824096)
      If your mobile phone can read barcodes, we could print them anywhere - in papers, on billboards, TV adverts - and all you'd need to do is take a photo and your phone automatically loads the webpage in its built-in browser.
      This is already standard in Japan- barcode readers come on pretty much every cell phone here. They read special 2d-matrix barcodes that look like this [wikipedia.org], which generally encode a URL or email address. You don't even need to take a picture of it in the usual sense- you run a little app called "barcode scanner" and just hold your phone over it, and as soon as it recognizes the barcode, it instantly launches the web browser or opens a new email with a specified To: address & possibly a predetermined Subject: line. They're often used on posters & product ads as a "get more info by scanning here" thing, or even to sign up for store memberships & things- hold your phone over the little square, and you instantly get a web page w/ a form to enter your info. Much faster than typing a URL on your phone.

      Yet another area where Japanese cell phones are WAY ahead of the US...
    • The government, here in the UK is adopting this technology. Phones are given to the partially sighted people, then at zebra crossings they can take a photo and the phone can tell them where they are.

      The Java stack in the phone calls the highways agency using SOAP, this then cross references the zebra crossing ID with the lat-lon, this is used with XML to look up the street address via maps.google.co.uk, the street name is then passed to an operator who phones the mobile and talks to the partially sighted p

    • Re:Other uses (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:24AM (#15824167)
      It was called a "cuecat," and it became one of the great punchlines (along with AOL CDs, foosball tables, VRML, and Jon Katz) of the dot-com era. Cuecats presumed that people read magazines alongside their computers, completely missing the point that if anyone was that "wired" he would be reading his magazines online to begin with.

      If your mobile phone can read barcodes, we could print them anywhere - in papers, on billboards, TV adverts - and all you'd need to do is take a photo and your phone automatically loads the webpage in its built-in browser.

      These are the generic mass "in-your-face" ads that people, generally, try to avoid but cannot. Ads we "want to see," at least in theory, are, again, those that materialize in the marginalia of our web pages as a result of our search metadata being analyzed. The mobile phone bar scanners are, like the cuecats, already obsolete. If you can't remember the product the billboard is hawking, the billboarder has not done his basic job and does not deserve any gadgetery boost. And if you can remember the product, you can google it.

      Anyone running around pointing his cellphone at a billboard so he can capture the barcode and WAP-surf to the company's website should be rounded up, made to serve Nicholas Negroponte his frappe latte mocchachino in bed for a week, ride a segway from Grand Central Station to Wall Street, and have "TOOL" tatooed on his forehead in front of a crowd of 600 fat, drooling, naked, middle-aged "digerati" marketing execs at the next Burning Man festival.
      • Re:Other uses (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I totally disagree: First: It might be new to you, but the web isn't build out of static pages, but can be used interactive. Barcodes like these could be used to do things like voting by scanning the corresponding barcode, ordering stuff.
        Second: Entering webadresses on a mobile phone UI is allways a lot of work. When this system is adopted widely, you could just scan the barcode at the bus stop, to load the page with bus times, scan the code at a painting (in or outside a museum), to get more info about it,
      • Re:Other uses (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rm999 ( 775449 )
        I think the cell phone scanner has potential if the phone is connected to the internet. It could be used to buy things from vending machines, for example (I'd be surprised if this hasn't been tried in japan).
        • Actually, I remember a story long ago on slashdot mentioning just that. And there are phones in Japan with built in Suica cards now- Suica cards [wikipedia.org] are like rechargeable proxcards for paying for any JR (Japan Rail) train- you just stick the card (or even your whole wallet) down on the pad on your way in & out & it deducts the appropriate fare. Some stores (and vending machines) will also let you pay for things with your Suica card, and now there's cell phones [wikipedia.org] with Suica built in.
      • If you can't remember the product the billboard is hawking, the billboarder has not done his basic job
        I'm not sure how you mean that statement, but a large part of advertising is to create "product recognition".

        In other words, they don't care if you remember the billboard, as long as you recognize the name/picture/slogan/it that was on it the next time you're shopping.
    • Re:Other uses (Score:2, Informative)

      by JanneM ( 7445 )
      However, I wonder whether this idea may have some re-interest. If your mobile phone can read barcodes, we could print them anywhere - in papers, on billboards, TV adverts - and all you'd need to do is take a photo and your phone automatically loads the webpage in its built-in browser.

      Exactly this has been available and used everywhere in Japan for a few years already.

    • Literally. It's a QR code [wikipedia.org], not a standard linear barcode, but it's the same concept, and these days probably more ads, information posters and the like have them than don't, and virtually all cell phones have cameras that can decode them into URLs. No links handy (who'd need barcodes when you're already on the web?), so you'll have to take my word for it, but they really are everywhere. Even the wrappers on McDonalds burgers have codes that take you to their *cough* nutrition information page.
    • There is a company called connvision that has a system that does this: http://www.beetagg.com/ [beetagg.com] (take a pic with a phone and get a redirect in the phone's browser)
    • " If your mobile phone can read barcodes, we could print them anywhere - in papers, on billboards, TV adverts - and all you'd need to do is take a photo and your phone automatically loads the webpage in its built-in browser."

      I don't think I'd mind that. I already use the camera in my phone to take photos of price tags + model numbers of things I see when I go shopping. When I get home I look up reviews etc. My next phone's going to be a Treo. I'm digging the idea of getting the reviews right there at th
  • by novus ordo ( 843883 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:49AM (#15824049) Journal
    Note: We are sorry that these talks are not available through BitTorrent, however under present IST policy we are not allowed to run BitTorrent. We thank you for your understanding.
    We, the slashdot army, are sorry that we have used up all your bandwidth for the next 20 years. We thank you for your understanding.
  • This can be very useful. Scan a barcode while at a store for a TV for instance, and have your phone go out and check amazon.com, bestbuy circuit city compusa and price shop through your phone while at the store and decide whether or not you will buy there. Thats an awesome idea. Heh.
  • Lookup Required (Score:4, Informative)

    by hey ( 83763 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:54AM (#15824069) Journal
    Once a barcode is read you just get the product code. What good is that?
    You need then to lookup that code up in a database for real info.
    • Re:Lookup Required (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Orange Crush ( 934731 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:34AM (#15824213)

      Once a barcode is read you just get the product code. What good is that? You need then to lookup that code up in a database for real info.

      As mentioned above, it could give you the lowest prices found on Froogle, Amazon, etc . . . or if they want to do something *really* neat, tell you if that product is available for considerably less (or on sale!) at a different store nearby.
    • Re:Lookup Required (Score:5, Informative)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:39AM (#15824230) Journal
      They aren't trying to recognize 1-D barcodes (ya know, normal barcodes).

      "It needs to locate and read two-dimensional barcodes"

      Nowadays, PDF417 [wikipedia.org] is the standard for 2d barcodes.
      http://www.barcodeman.com/faq/2dbarcode.gif [barcodeman.com]

      It can store between 10 and a crapload of characters

      A 320x240 image gives you plenty of characters, depending on how much redundancy you want to throw in.
      • Your comment got me thinking about how much information you could squeeze into one of those barcodes.

        At most, a 320x240 tag would give you 76,800 bits of information, or slightly less than 11,000 7-bit ASCII characters. That's assuming you could match the pixels of the tag to the camera's sensor exactly.

        I assume you probably wouldn't want to use any more than half of the camera's vertical and horizontal resolution though, which leaves you with 160x120 (for 2,700 characters), and I assume you'd need to have
        • Anyone who has ever played around with something like Delicious Library would probably have an idea of how much (or should I say little) resolution it takes to scan a barcode. Granted, DL only does standard 1D barcodes as far as I know, but I've never had it mis-scan something, and most barcodes take under 10% of the camera's viewable area when they're read, and it's only 640x480. Of course, standard UPC codes only old 12 digits (and AFAIK one of them is a parity bit), but I'm quite sure you don't need th
    • Well, from the video, this isn't a product barcode - it's arbitrary data that's encoded. One demo app is using it to encode URL's so that you scan the "barcode" and the web page comes up on your cell phone's browser. Another thing people did with the free version was to tag real world items with barcodes containing WikiPedia references. Apparently Quest used it for a competition where people had to find and scan barcodes printed on Quest advertizements around town.
    • Nope, these are not THOSE barcodes. In Japan they generaly contain url's for the companies website or something similar. Yesterday I used one in fact - I had a parcel delivered while I was out and they left a non-delivery slip with a QR code on it... simply scan it in to connet to the courier's site and set up a suitable delivery time. I also have one on my business card, so people can import my address card to their phones.

      Incidentally the reason that this technology has taken so long to reach the rest
  • Getting soft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Threni ( 635302 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:57AM (#15824077)
    > Not bad for an 'image recognizer for a 100 MHz mobile phone processor with 1 MB heap, 320x240
    > image, on a poorly-optimized Java stack'"

    10 or so years ago we had 3d games on 7mhz machines with 512k of ram, pretty much the same screen resolution yadda yadda - this isn't so impressive.
    • 20 years ago we played elite with 32k of ram and a 4mhz processor
    • Re:Getting soft (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glesga_kiss ( 596639 )
      10 or so years ago we had 3d games on 7mhz machines with 512k of ram, pretty much the same screen resolution yadda yadda - this isn't so impressive.

      Rendering 3D and making sense of a real 3D environment are quite different feats however.

      • Bar code scanning is waaaaaaaaaayyy simpler than sensing a real 3D environment.

        In fact, making sense of a real 3D environment is not here yet, and gadgets (not full computers, mind you) that read bar code are common-place for decades.
    • 10 or so years ago we had 3d games on 7mhz machines with 512k of ram, pretty much the same screen resolution yadda yadda - this isn't so impressive.

      I may not be an expert on this, but I would say that generating images typically takes less computing power than analyzing them.

  • Please hold downloading the mpeg with the talk until I finish. I'll reply to this message when wget returns my prompt. Thanks.
  • by NusEnFleur ( 460584 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:07AM (#15824106)
    My colleague once wrote a prototype doing the same thing (barcode recognition). This is also a nice solution for building tickets. THe main advantage is that you can give the guy at the entrance just one phone and he'll be able to scan entry tickets without the need for a computer or heavy equipment.

    We even have a video [link-u.com] showing this technology being used for payment. Note that in the video you see the recognition engine in java run on a PC with a webcam, but the same engine runs on many MIDP 2.0 phones (like a nokia 6230) and is also able to find a barcode instantly. In this case the phone is only used as a client for the payment concept.
    • So are there any free to use (or even Open Source) software that does this on Windows or Linux? I would love to have some software that dumps out recognized barcodes (1-D or 2-D) from a live video source...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The LG V phone has a business card scanner built in. If you take a picture of a business card, it can then use OCR to identify the text and add it to your address book. It's not perfect, but it's still pretty impressive (and you can edit out the mistakes). That's got to be harder than merely interpreting a bar code.
  • Not unique (Score:4, Informative)

    by csirac ( 574795 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:20AM (#15824155)
    I've seen some Japanese phones that have apparently had this ability for quite some time now, I was absolutely amazed when a friend showed me one that even OCR'd english text out of a snapshot!

    And there's a company called Grabba [grabba.com] that makes commercial bar-code scanning solutions out of PDAs and PDA-phones (among other things). A friend of mine works there... interesting stuff; they also sell a dock thing that a PDA can clip into, which gives it a camera so you don't need to use a mobile phone. Popular with inventory/warehouse type applications, it also does 2D barcodes as well.
    • I've seen some Japanese phones that have apparently had this ability for quite some time now, I was absolutely amazed when a friend showed me one that even OCR'd english text out of a snapshot! And there's a company called Grabba that makes commercial bar-code scanning solutions out of PDAs and PDA-phones (among other things). A friend of mine works there... interesting stuff; they also sell a dock thing that a PDA can clip into, which gives it a camera so you don't need to use a mobile phone. Popular with

    • Yes, you're probably thinking of the QR Codes [wikipedia.org] which are used by DoCoMo's [nttdocomo.co.jp] i-mode [wikipedia.org] service.
      I see those all over the place [exblog.jp] on Japanese websites.

      The US is really playing catch-up with cell-phone technology.
  • But I know 320*240 on a cellphone camera image was lame 3 years ago.
    • Apparently the limitation isn't the camera - it's the Java API to the camera which limits image resolution, as does the amount of memory available on some phones. Apparently others have the same thing in a C++/Symbian environment, but this guy says his is the only one to work on a resource limited Java phones.
    • Yes, the image resolution is low but you need to take into account that another spec mentioned is 1MB of Java heap memory. The captured images are stored in Java Image obejcts uncompressed. So the memory requirement for a QVGA (320x240) four-bytes-per-pixel RGBA image is 307,200 bytes, which will fit well within the 1MB of heap memory.

      The phone camera will probably be able to capture images with a higher resolution (up to megapixels), but because of this Java heap memory limitation they probably need to l

      • Again, that number seems very low. My 'phone, which is almost a year old and wasn't even close to top of the range when I got it has 32MB of RAM free when running nothing other than the OS and the Java heap is only limited by the free RAM. 16MB is an easy minimum, since it also has a memory card slot for long-term storage.
  • While I didn't RTFA, I'm surprised that this is being discussed like it's a newfangled idea. "See, we just put these parallel lines on things, and the spacing between the lines represents a number...."

    We don't need to invent new things to add bar codes to. There are already dozens of ways to use this system if it could interface with existing bar codes. If i'm at Borders I'd love to scan a barcode on a book and bring up its reviews, If I have a UPS label I'd love to be able to scan the barcode to view its s
  • do xyz... on a cellphone...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    http://www.beetagg.com./ [www.beetagg.com] They got REAL-TIME 2d code detection, on wm5 and symbian (and treo650 seems to be coming soon) phones. Works on my Java phone (non-RT). Shame the Moto-Q is not on the list. Anybody care to test?
  • Nothing new (Score:1, Redundant)

    by TheVoice900 ( 467327 )
    Phones here in Japan have had this technology for quite some time, using square bar codes that can encode way more information than the typical barcodes in North America. I can scan them with my phone and get a URL or other information...
  • http://www.beetagg.com/ [beetagg.com] . On mobile phones, real-time, Symbian, Wm5, beta for treo650, J2ME (non-RT)... Shame the Moto-Q is not on the list. Anybody care to test it anyway?
  • Can anyone tell me what the typical operating frequency for the chip handling barcode recognition on a typical decade old point of sale system would be? Not 100 mhz, surely?
    • I know a whole pile from the mid ninties used the motorola 68HC11 chips from memory they operate at about 14.1 Mhz with an 8 bit bus. I have one sitting on my desk at the moment actually =p
    • The trick is to read the barcode from an image, not from a scanning laser or other barcode reading hardware. That's what makes it interesting.
  • I'm actually fairly surprised the slashdot editors don't have a treo and follow palmgear or other palm development sites. There already is a bar code scanner you can get for free for your treo:

    BarCode [palmgear.com]

    Of course, quality isn't perfect but it does work. Mostly. Reads the barcode and copies the number stream results to your clipboard.

  • Back in 1998ish I worked for a company that was heavily into inventory systems. We sold Intermec wireless bar code scanners as part of our overall solution. The scanner was essentially a tiny 386 machine running MS DOS in the form factor of bulky sci-fi ray gun. Even fired a laser out the end when you pulled the trigger. Ran about 3 grand for one of 'em. You might see similar devices in supermarkets these days.

    A bar code reading cellphone, well I think our customers would have jumped at them. Even if the

  • This would be very impressive if they could actually process, identify and match non-contrived real world features (i.e. faces, text, people), but this is just barcodes. Barcodes are DESIGNED to be easily recognized and processed by computers and to be highly tolerant of noise and corruption. Sure, this sounds like a nifty app, but to call it image recognition is very misleading.
  • I think I read in late 2004 or early 2005 about this being available in Japan at or before the time I had read about it.

    They even have pay-for-train-ticket and pay-for-groceries-and-other-things by cell.

    While not light years ahead in all areas, Japan trounces the USA in some interesting and invisible ways. I had an analog TV phone (with FM radio, 1.2 megapixel camera, tweaking ability of the hundreds of polyphonics tunes inside, removable SD card, JP/Eng interface, memo, cal, many alarms, and more.) there f
  • For those interested you should check out http://www.shotcode.com/ [shotcode.com] . They do circular shaped codes which look more pleasant. Generation is free, they distribute a client, but you pay for code resolutions.

    Just in case anyone needed to know....

    T.

  • Why couldnt someone put together a distributed computing cluster for image processing/facial recognition/text recogntion processing? Then, you can make an app that sends the images from your cellphone/mobile device to the distributed cluster, and receive the processed data back?

    Pretty soon, the bandwidth available to mobile devices and cellphones will be plenty for sending photos and other data across.
  • When this technology becomes available to Joe Consumer, I'll bet that retailers will start posting signs saying that customers are not allowed to take photos/scans of barcodes and security guards will start bouncing customers that try it and Congress will eventually get enough $$$ from retailers to pass a law making it illegal probably in the name of homeland security. It's straight from the "big corporation hand book" section 3.5 titled "you can prevent the future if you make a rule against it"
  • My DoCoMo phone has had barcode scanning available to it for YEARS.

    A few years ago, they added the ability to scan those 2D "barcodes", and they're everywhere in Japan. You scan the code, and it forwards your phone to a promotional website.

    Get with the times!
  • Image Recognition: Cellphone Transaction - Image Xmit - Scan Confirmation A tested, new technology capability enters the North America marketplace. A technology that has had great success in Europe in the facilitation of transactions on-the-fly has arrived in the form of a scanner that can read images off of a cellphone LCD screen. Using a special two-dimensional image/symbology, a selling party is able to confirm/identify who the purchasing party is to allow a completion of any type of transaction or acc

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