SINTEF has developed a system for reading large amounts of data automatically into your mobile telephone.
Mobile telephones are very widely used in Norway, and their range of functions has grown enormously during the past few years. However, it is still difficult to transfer data from a physical object, such as a name and address from a business card or a web address from an advert.
With current mobile phones the user needs to key in such information manually, which is both clumsy and time-consuming. However the most recent mobile phones often include a digital camera that is capable of producing images which can be rapidly analysed.
More than party pictures
SINTEF has developed a system that enables hundreds of characters to be transferred to such a camera by using a single user-captured image as input.
Our system is based on a specially developed two-dimensional bar-code which is printed on the object. We have developed image-analysis software that writes out the code, takes a picture, analyses it and extracts its content. This can then be sent to the users address book, web browser, or games menu on his mobile telephone, says Jens Thielemann of SINTEF Electronics and Cybernetics.
For example, suppose you see an ad for a product you are interested in, but its- web address is long and difficult to type into your mobile. However, just beside his Internet address the manufacturer has printed a special code which you recognise as a web-code. You take a picture of the code with the camera on your mobile, and the Internet address appears automatically on the phones screen, making the mobile phone much easier to use for this purpose.
This shows that these new photo-phones can be used for much more than taking pictures at parties. It opens up new fields of professional use and industrial applications, says Thielemann.