What's missing is screens which can display meta information in the IR channel. I say we call the image format IRGB.
They can see in IR, but they can't distinguish it from other light. Maybe that's good enough.
One of the more interesting things you can do is to exploit the rolling shutter readout method of consumer CMOS sensors to recover information with a high temporal resolution. By modulating the backlight of a video display or any other kind of wide-area light, you can transmit information optically to the phone in a way that's invisible to the user.
I'm not aware of any commercial applications of such tech, but there are enough keywords in this post to find a few research papers on the topic.
i.e. that the problem with recycling isn't in identifying the plastic, it's in separating and cleaning it?
Plus recycling plastic is pointless - it's environmentally better to burn plastic for energy.
Source please? This seems very counter intuitive.
"For some products, recycling is an effective solution. Aluminium cans and glass, for example, are infinitely recyclable and can be reprocessed in the UK. But for plastics, it’s a different story.
For one thing, there are so many types of plastic it makes it hard to sort correctly. Consumers inadvertently mix recyclable and non-recyclable plastics in the same box, which contaminates the load and requires there to be further sorting and segregating, which not all collectors do, and effects the value and re-usability of the plastic when it’s resold. "
"Recycling plastic uses up a lot of resources, and after all the hauling around, sorting, and processing of bottles and containers, it often ends up getting thrown away or burned"
One 2017 report published in Science Advances suggested only 9% of the plastic that we ever use is recycled, while consulting firm McKinsey estimates just 16% of plastics are "reprocessed" and turned into new plastic goods.
People don't have much use for the small portion of plastic that does get recycled anyway. In the European Union, only 6% of plastic demand is for recycled plastics.
Here's another UK based meta-study that suggest recycling is always better than incineration for plastic in the UK:
Those are 2010 numbers so I'd guess the lower carbon grid makes the case for recycling better.
In general incineration across multiple materials seems to do better than landfill but worse than recycling.
Better to discourage plastic use through an escalating tax, use home compostable alternative plastics and burn what is unavoidably produced in the local combined heat and power (that most places don't have). Of course it's still a hydrocarbon so ideally you want carbon capture and storage with that.
If governments pay for recycling then they have the incentive to change it, but no easy levers to pull to make those changes.
If they instead just bill the producers of the packaging for the cost of recycling or landfill then there's an instant incentive for the people making the packaging to reduce, reuse and recycle more.
Then multiple ingenious ideas like this can fight it out in the market.
Very similar to my take on carbon taxes. We have the tech, but not the market to enable it to be deployed and developed further.
It's not like it's steel, or lead-acid batteries.