Saturday, April 15, 2006

QR Codes In Sound

Picturephoning found an interesting story about NTT DoCoMo developing acoustic OFDM (Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) technology, which can then embed URL's and text data into audio.

"Consumers' mobile phones "listen" to the music/audio and extract the embedded URLs/data. About 100 characters can be transmitted in a second. (To deploy this technology, broadcast stations will need to install a dedicated encoder. Mobile phones need to be enhanced with a decoder mechanism as well.)

"DoCoMo thinks this technology can also be used at shopping malls and supermarkets. Then, the sound from in-store speakers would probably be delivering information about specials, ads, discount coupons, etc

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting concept.

It's worth bearing in mind though, that the reference to QR is purely as an analogy -- the technology has nothing to do with visual codes.

The tradeoff with these watermarking kinds of technology is always, though, that at some level of encoding it starts to distort perceptibly the analog quality of the audio or visual data.

That's the problem, for example, with watermarking images with digital data, as per Digimarc. Yeah, you can encode info in an image, but it starts to distort what you're seeing insofar as the information starts to get somewhat dense and you require robust decoding of the data.