There’s an interesting article over at Picturephoning about using 2D barcodes and image recognition to get URLs into cameraphones. I’ve heard of projects something like this before, but most were companies looking to use their patented technology to make hordes of cash. I’m very happy to see that the project page for Sem@code describes the technology, but without tying it directly to a company. Which makes me think that the tech savy among us can just print out images of these encoded URLs to try out. It does say that the recognition is proprietary, but that doesn’t keep others from making a different version of the recognition piece. I’m hoping that the technology itself is open, I think it would drastically change the adoption of the technique.

This still is really a stopgap solution, if we’re to trust the Bluetooth fans about “what could be” for their technology. Location based services have been on the floorplan for Bluetooth for as long as I can remember. The idea is that small Bluetooth radios would send out information to anyone in range about the local services that are avilable. So instead of pointing your cameraphone at the bus stop sign and decoding the url, you would just stand near the sign and select the “bus” service from the menu of local info. Of course, I heard about this so many years ago that I have to dredge up most of the details from foggy memory. Location based services are definitely a good idea. People do have a physical location, and their information devices should make use of that data. This provides an excellent way to provide location based services with pretty much just the hardware that people have today. Kudos, a great solution. I hope it goes far.