MIT announces release of NewsFlash using technology similar to QR codes

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NewsFlash is designed for iPads and smartphones so that they can share data with light transmission similar to the process for QR codes.

The Media Lab at MIT is always working on projects that are at the very cutting edge of technology, and most recently they have unveiled NewsFlash, which uses a new type of light transmission technology that can be compared to the way that mobile devices use QR codes.

NewsFlash is a project that uses green and red light to allow iPad and mobile phone devices to share data through their built in camera features. This concept is built on the same type of idea that is the foundation for QR codes, except that instead of using the square two dimensional barcode of light and dark colors, it uses flashing red and green light that is invisible to the human eye.

The Media Lab presentation of NewsFlash showed an iPad transmitting a page to a smartphone.

The iPad tablet displayed a static news page, which featured a series of flashing colored bands that were located above the article. These required only a few vertical pixels at the top of the LCD, so it was not invasive on the amount of space that was available on the screen for the desired content.

The device already offers the user the typical touch experience with which he or she is familiar, but with this technology, it can also make it possible to broadcast data that other devices will be able to read through their camera features. Fortunately, the flashes of light are too rapid to be perceived by the human eye, so they are not noticeable and will not be distracting when trying to view the content on the page.

The receiving device requires the NewsFlash app to be installed in order to transmit the data. It can be compared to an application for scanning QR codes. Once the app is used and the colored band is scanned, the device can receive either the mobile version of the content, or a translated version from an international version of the site. As of yet, this remains only a concept and has not yet been made available to the public.


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