LED Light ID tags: Like QR codes, but cool

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FujitsuForget QR codes, Japanese company Fujitsu has found a way to attach information to objects using light alone. Sound like magic? It looks like magic, too. The technology modifies the colour of light emitted by LED lights and embeds data in it. Think of it as an invisible barcode.

Possible uses of the tech include additional product info in shops by simply lighting a particular shelf or display, providing information in art galleries, museums or at monuments and other tourist attractions, and linking to downloads or other content at concerts and other live events.

Much like QR codes, embedded information in an LED Light ID Tag is read using a specific app. The app captures a short snippet of video and parses the link or other information from the captured frames.

“Colour LEDs combine the three lights of red, green, and blue (RGB) to produce a range of colors. By modulating the intensity of the light emitted by each of the three component colors along the time axis, ID data can be embedded in the light cast onto an object, even with very small variations. Data for one ID is attached to each individual LED light,” the company explains on its website.

LED Light ID TagsFujitsu showed off the tech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month and says it can also use the same technology in video. Advertisers could, in conjunction with broadcasters, use the tech to provide additional information by embedding links to it in what would look to the human eye like regular video. Now they just need to find a way to install the accompanying app directly in our optic nerves.

Image of prism: refeia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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