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Fujitsu Forges Li-Fi-like QR Code Replacement (ieee.org)
13 points by nitin_flanker on Dec 4, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments

It sounds like the article claim LiFi is superior to QR codes in every possible way.

QR Codes, as a replacement for old bar codes, is a pretty awesome thing, and LiFi clearly wouldn't work for that.

LiFi sounds like a possible replacement for the (arguably) stupid usages of QR Codes, like, "point your phone here, and see what happens", although LiFi would be easier to embed in a hidden way.

I believe in this context Li-Fi was either added by the journalist or mentioned to the journalist to make him/her understand the idea better. But this technology is literally just flashing LEDs and reading it with a camera, which turns out to be annoyingly slow. Let's say they use IR (article talks about projector and RGB) to hide the flickering, you still need to put a lamp on every product where I already have a barcode, a price-tag, an information card and whatnot. Then we will put up a massive arrow that says "point your phone here!"

On a monthly basis I see people come up with "innovative" shopping experiences. In fact I personally know 2-3 people who worked on projects like this, but did anyone actually figure out what content to put on the screen? Anyone here ever pointed a phone at a barcode/qr-code for any other reason but syncing up google authenticator?

But let's say we really would like to walk through macy's by staring at our phone instead of looking at the boots. Why not just use something standard and readily available in every phone that matters, like NFC/BTLE?

I understand someone probably got the homework at Fujitsu Labs to innovate and I must admin I have worked on similiar technologies before and it's a lot of fun. But especially because I have seen this idea so many times, but never seen it adapted by a single store, I am skeptical about the existence of the problem.


URIBeacons are the future. You don't need to point a camera, it's invisible and works great.

URI beacons are pretty interesting. They can indeed replace QR in many situations, but I'm still not 100% sold on it due to privacy and spam concerns.

Those can probably be solved by using a 3rd party service to resolve the URL redirection, but we'll see how it goes.

QR codes are:

  *Available right now
  *Widely adopted
  *Free to implement
  *Very robust
  *Visually distinct
A lot of "QR killers" considered that last point as a disadvantage, and tried to "solve" it by sacrificing robustness. They failed, and most of those codes are now invalid because they relied on a proprietary service.

I think it's actually a strength. You can probably train a monkey to scan a QR. Just point phone at funny square[1]. With this, most people won't even know it's there, so you'll basically need to have your phone out (but you can't even use your phone while scanning for codes, like you can with bluetooth beacons).

This an impressive technology, but it's not going to "replace" QR, and the potential usage scenarios in the article are a little far fetched.


Even though i couldn't imagine any sane person scanning QR codes, in China they are apparently very popular:


They are, and it's great. Why type in phone numbers or usernames for prospective contacts, just scan the code and you're good.

Honestly, I don't understand why we won't use them back here. If only just for scanning stock WiFi passwords off routers, surely that would be worth it?

> *Widely adopted

Do you have any information about how widely adopted they are? I know they are very widely printed, I bought a USB battery pack and it's got a QR code printed on the end. But the interesting question is how often they are scanned.

In manufacturing it is normal to scan 100% of the products with QR codes for quality Assurance. We do, some times we use custom QR codes, with less CRC error checking.

The reason is that computer(connected to) cameras could read them much better than barcodes(which need lasers or high definition cameras). Camera sensors are so cheap now and they let you read 2D instead of 1D, so you could add much more info, with simple hardware(like not having to control the illumination environment so much).

QR codes seem ripe for disruption, but I am not sure Li-Fi would be the one to do so. Given an object that is illuminated, how would one know if it's Li-Fi enabled? If there needs to be a sign that says 'Li-fi here', might as well go with a QR code, or maybe better would be a more advanced image recognition technology.

I like the possibilities that come with Li-Fi, but it's a long ways from maturity.

Thats the cool part. you dont have to know that there is information hidden there. but your devices can detect and make use of that information. such as taking picture, google glass etc.

In theory, the same should be possible with IR light instead of the visible one. Many (all?) digital cameras are infrared-sensitive, which is easy to test by just pointing a TV remote at a camera and pressing a button. So one can simply do a morse-ish code in IR and then have an app parse it out.

10 bits per second?

That probably means you'll need to register your URL/vendor/etc. with Fujitsu, since sending a normal-sized URL would be excruciating.

"Here, just aim your smartphone at this for 10-20 seconds."

This is going to revolutionize the future of shopping. NO need to enter into a shop. Just point your smartphone camera along the product and get the descriptions. Fantastic..

An experience like that is inevitable but it likely won't be through this solution. As it stands, LiFi requires a light source to illuminate a product which isn't exactly scalable. What you're describing feels far more likely to happen through image recognition technology.

LiFi is still a neat idea though.

Thanks for clarifying ;)

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