Barcodes converted to pulsing lights are readable from phones by standard supermarket scanners

    By Tom | Small Business

    The Object Recognition Scanner has already hinted at a world without the need for physical barcodes. Now Mobeam has reformatted barcodes for the digital sphere so they can be read from phones by existing point-of-sale laser scanners.

    Due to the way traditional scanners work, a simple image of a barcode on a smartphone can’t be read, leading to the rise of mobile-enabled scanning technologies such as NFC and QR codes. Mobeam converts any physical code designed to be read by lasers – such as barcodes, loyalty cards, train tickets or lottery receipts – into a pulsing light that isn’t visible with the human eye, but can be detected by traditional checkout or handheld scanners. The result is that – rather than remembering to put that discount coupon in their wallet or print off an event ticket before they get to the venue – consumers can simply receive codes straight to their phone, while businesses don’t need to change the way they keep track of stock.

    For all the potential of QR and NFC, Mobeam has cleverly spotted the potential of an alternative for vendors who aren’t prepared or don’t have the money to replace their hardware. Given the ongoing ubiquity of laser scanners in supermarkets, this is a large market. As evidence of this, the company has already struck a deal with Samsung to include the technology in its Galaxy S4 smartphone as standard. Could this be the future of mobile commerce?


    Spotted by: Murray Orange

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