Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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pictorial barcode scanner

scan barcodes from digital images of barcodes
  [vote for,

Use cellphone cameras to scan barcodes. Take a picture of the barcode and software in the phone scans the code. More likely to get it right than OCR for the digits under the barcode.

I dont really know what applications this could be used for yet, but it sounds useful.

I have these 10 digit long numbers on my bills that i need to type into my computer. Eventually my cellphone will be my only personal computer and my means to access my bank. Printing barcodes is easier than getting enough cobol programmers to remove these stupid long numbers.

this sounds baked. almost as if it would be a homework project in signal processing. anyone seen it?

noss, Sep 19 2003

All the way there: IWI Codepoint http://www.internat...ubheader=technology
" ... CodePoint software enables barcode reading systems using consumer-grade embedded digital cameras or digital camera peripherals ... " [bristolz, Oct 04 2004]

CueCat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat
Wikipedia entry about the barcode scanner [tedhaubrich] mentioned. [Acme, Oct 04 2004]

SmartPhone Program http://sourceforge....jects/barcr-reader/
Open source program for Series 60 smartphones that reads bar codes. [craigts, Sep 20 2006]


       Great combination of features. Take your cell phone to the kitchen pantry. Scan all the near empty boxes and the phone calls the grocery store to order new supplies.
kbecker, Sep 19 2003

       someone tried to bake a similar idea. They gave away free barcode scanners to people. The GoodWills are full of them now, they look like weird cats. The idea was to go to their website, scan a barcode of prouducts and be directed to say the Cheerios website, or Lysol, or whatever pertained to the product you scanned. Turned out that typing in Lysol or Cheerios in Google was a lot easier than hooking up the scanner and lugging the Cheerio box to the computer.
tedhaubrich, Jun 14 2004

       For a binary barcode with a 2:1 wide/narrow ratio, the minimum resolution picture required is two pixels per narrow element width ("unit"). A code-39 barcode requires 13 units per character, plus 25 units for start and end markers. An I2of5 barcode requires 14 units for each pair of digits, plus 8 units for start and end markers.   

       A ten-character Code39 barcode would thus require 155 units, or 310 pixels, to be readable. Since many cell-phone cameras are pretty low resolution, reading a ten-character barcode might be pushing the limits of feasibility. On the other hand, if camera resolutions get a little higher, such a scanner might be handy.
supercat, Jun 14 2004

       I think the problem with the Cue Cats was that many people don't have much need to scan barcodes when they're at their computer. Being able to scan barcodes elsewhere might be much more useful.
supercat, Jun 14 2004

       Interesting, but possibly baked. If I'm not mistaken, in Japan, they have this done, and more. They print 2-D barcodes into magazine ads, etc. When the phone reads the code, it also redirects to an online source, which contains more info.
lcllam2, Jun 15 2004

       I've been playing with a couple of apps that do this (decoding 2D barcodes of the Data Matrix and QR code variety) on my Java-enabled telephonic device. I was thoroughly unimpressed, until I realized that the little Java app wasn't able to access the autofocus on my phone's camera, so it was struggling with some very blurry images.   

       My own personal struggle now is to find a good reason to have it on my phone, though.   

       (Hello to anyone who blundered in here from core77, btw. I was rather startled to find myself here, too.)
moomintroll, Sep 20 2006

       Didn't we just do this a few weeks ago?
Galbinus_Caeli, Sep 20 2006


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