How’s this for cool? It seems that now not only can you click your mouse to get to a URL, you can also click your camera phone.
After reading a notice on the NZ Wireless site that I frequent, I headed off to see what I could find out about Semacode. Wired News wrote this article about the people behind the technology, and being professional journos and all will probably explain it better that I attempt to below.
Simply put, Semacode is a barcode representation of a URL, by taking a photo of a Semacode with your camera equipped phone the image is interpreted by the Semacode software and you are then presented with the URL of the site, accept and away you go. It is the result of about a year of development by a Canadian programmer Simon Woodside and his associate Ming-Yee Iu who, interestingly (?) enough, I’d heard of before I knew of Semacode due to a document on Java UI basics which I read way back when I was pretending I’d have enough time to teach myself some more Java programming stuff – scary place this interwebby thing – almost as scary as the things my brain decided to remember for me (and yet I still can’t remember my wifes mobile phone number!)
At the time of writing, the only phones supported are the Nokia3650/7650 or 3600/3620/3660 and the Nokia 6600 or 6620 but a note on the website directs the visitor to a hardware page where a range of modern camera phones are listed along with their specific model notes.
Basically it appears that phones running symbian/j2me will be supported and the porting process is an on going one. It’s pretty promising technology and one which I can think of a number of real world applications for, we’ll just have to wait and see how many of those I can help bring to market here in New Zealand.
Speaking of getting clicky, I’m waiting for the wowsers to restart the whole “the Government and Telecom are in cahoots…” malarkey as Paul Swain has today announced in a NZPA report that he will be accepting the recommendation not to unbundle.
I’m not surprised by this decision, given the points I made way back in December 2003 but I’m sure the conspiracy theorists will be baying for blood once again and running up the the elections there may well be some ill founded policy statements made by the opposition to try and latch on to these people.
People… get on with life, by the time a LLU policy was completely implemented, the existing infrastructure that is being contended will be as good as obsolete. There are other technologies out there, start choosing to use those to demonstrate your displeasure if that’s what makes you feel better.
Update 12/2010: (Wow – Six years on!) I have revisited this post as part of a test of QR Code adoption (QR Codes are what these things are called now). The original semacode image is somewhere in the mists of time, so I’ve regenerated it using this tool.