We present Acoustic Barcodes, structured patterns of physical notches that, when swiped with e.g., a fingernail, produce a complex sound that can be resolved to a binary ID. A single, inexpensive contact microphone attached to a surface or object is used to capture the waveform. We present our method for decoding sounds into IDs, which handles variations in swipe velocity and other factors. Acoustic Barcodes could be used for information retrieval or to triggering interactive functions. They are passive, durable and inexpensive to produce. Further, they can be applied to a wide range of materials and objects, including plastic, wood, glass and stone. We conclude with several example applications that highlight the utility of our approach, and a user study that explores its feasibility.
Harrison, C., Xiao, R., and Hudson, S.E. Acoustic Barcodes: Passive, Durable and Inexpensive Notched Identification Tags. In Proceedings of the 25th Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 7 – 10, 2012). UIST ’12. ACM, New York, NY. 563-568.