Is This the Future of News?

by Amy Marcott on December 27, 2012

in Classroom, Media

Point a smartphone camera at a digital headline with a VR code embedded within and the NewsFlash app interprets the high-frequency red and green light.

Point a smartphone camera at a digital headline embedded with a VR code and the NewsFlash app interprets the high-frequency red and green light and displays the web page on the phone.

Move over, QR codes. There’s a new player in town: VR (video response) codes. Unlike the clunky, square QR code, VR codes are invisible to the naked eye. They use high-frequency red and green light to transmit data to a smartphone’s camera.

The technology was initiated by Grace Woo SM ’07, PhD ’12 as part of her PhD thesis and work with Andrew Lippman ’71, senior research scientist and head of the Viral Spaces group at the MIT Media Lab.

One potential use for VR codes is an app called NewsFlash. Point a smartphone camera at a digital headline (on an iPad in the demonstration below) and the app sees the high-frequency light, interprets those flashes, and displays either a mobile version of the website with the same content or a translation, if the text is in a foreign language.

See it in action.

VR codes are currently being developed by Pixels.IO as a spinoff of the Viral Spaces group.

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