I’ve been meaning to blog about Semacode for a while, but somehow I haven’t gotten round to it. In the meantime, it has been picked up by BoingBoing, The Feature, SmartMobs and Reiter’s Camera Phone Report (among others).
Anyway – in short, it’s a URL encoded in a 2D bar code, that can be picked up by a Symbian camera phone and linked to a browser on that same device.
As of now, this is it – encode your URL, print it somewhere, and anyone passing the sign with his phone (or seeing it printed somewhere, for example in a newspaper or on a wall) can snap a picture and go to the corresponding URL.
But the potential is there – a URL is not everything that you could encode in that barcode. It is even possible to chain multiple bar codes to increase the amount of data that can be stored. My last employer had a solution that packed the core data of digitally signed documents, for example a hotel bill, or a contract, into such a barcode, and printed it on top of the document.
So, what you could do was print out a document, send or fax it to someone, and a small piece of software would extract the data and the digital signature and check it.
Applications? Easy: you’re on a business trip, you get the hotel bill on a piece of paper, you snap a picture, send it to your company’s ERP system, and your expenses are done – in real time. Ain’t that cool?
Technology that bridges between analog and digital has huge potential – can’t wait to see where semacode goes next….