If you have a bad habit of biting or chewing on your nails so much so that there is not enough nail surface left for you to remove a sticker from an apple or even scratch a ticket, you might have the impetus to change with the introduction of an “acoustic barcode”. Basically, a team of computer scientists developed a system which enables folks to scratch at specially notched patterns in order to glean information, or perhaps flip over to the next slide during a presentation, perform functions during a phone call, or indulge in other actions. The scratch pattern system is said to be extremely simple to set up and ready for use.

The implementation of “acoustic barcodes” really depends on just how one wants to get about it. A good example would be a working prototype of a talking store window that you see above, in addition to a talking wooden toy, several smartphone apps as well as magnetic shapes that an educator can stick to a whiteboard to control an in-classroom projector. The acoustic barcodes do not look too far removed from the printed variety, being made out of etched lines of varying thicknesses, and all you need to do to activate it would be to drag a fingernail or another tool over the lines. There will be a microphone that picks up the scratch’s sound, relaying it to a computer where the program figures out just what the original etched pattern was based on the sound. It can compensate for different swiping speeds to a certain extent, and is smart enough to ignore accidental taps.

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