MIT researchers have designed a possible replacement for the conventional barcode, the BBC reports. Called Bokodes, the tags are made up of a powered light-emitting diode, a mask and a lens, and can store much more information than the black-and-white stripe variety. More, the scientists say, the Bokodes can be read by cellphone cameras, and from much greater distances.
Developers envision a supermarket aisle where Bokode-enabled products tout their nutrition and financial selling points via the customer’s phone. Bokodes could also enrich Google Maps Streetview—businesses could load menus or other information into tags mounted in their shop windows, and have the information captured by Google’s camera cars.