Phone as modern Swiss Army Knife

NYT has an article that shows how phones are the modern equivalent of the Swiss army knife.

In their new incarnation, cellphones become a sort of digital remote control, as one CBS executive put it. With a wave, the phone can read encoded information on everyday objects and translate that into videos, pictures or text files on its screen.

“The cellphone is the natural tool to combine the physical world with the digital world,” that executive, Cyriac Roeding, the head of mobile-phone applications for CBS, said the other day.

These phones could be the natural link between the cyber space and the real world.  Ultimately, the link between us and the world is through 5 sensors (our senses) and the phones come equipped with multiple sensors.  This is very promising point and is not lost on astutue observers.

The most promising way to link cellphones with physical objects is a new generation of bar codes: square-shaped mosaics of black and white boxes that can hold much more information than traditional bar codes. The cameras on cellphones scan the codes, and then the codes are translated into videos, music or text on the phone screens.

A very important point — once again for computer vision and multimedia researchers — is

But now the time seems right for cellphones, ubiquitous and increasingly sold with cameras, to be pressed into service as the scanners.

Really exciting and challenging.

One thought on “Phone as modern Swiss Army Knife

  1. Matt


    I totally agree with this posting. Cell phones do so much these days and will do so much in the future that they are all that you need to carry. I only carry my cell phone now when I go out and I can keep connected at all times with my company , friends and have entertainment such as MP3s and videos to boot 🙂 Did you guys ever watch the show MacGyver? I cant wait to see the next version where the guy has a cell phone instead of a swiss army knife.


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