Last month, I mentioned Ubimark’s publication of a print edition of Around the World in 80 Days with “e-footnotes”—QR codes that can be scanned by a free iPhone app to turn into links to webpages with additional content. Now Tools of Change reports that Ricoh Innovations is set to allow publishers to do the same thing with no QR codes required.
According to Jamey Graham, Distinguished Research Engineer at Ricoh, RI’s technology is similar to that of QR codes, but uses the natural patterns of an object or a page as opposed to a barcode. "Over the last few years we’ve developed algorithms for indexing & recognizing visual patterns. Using an Android or iPhone device, readers can snap a picture of a region on the page (text or images, or a combination) and they will be presented with online material just as if they’d scanned a barcode."
Their first app will be paired with Matt Stewart’s novel The French Revolution from Soft Skull Press, but Ricoh has loftier goals in mind than just adding on-line annotations to novels.
TOC reports the company hopes to work with the Gates Foundation to create an app for Where There Is No Doctor, a village health care handbook, and distribute a smartphone containing the app along with a physical copy of the book to villages that have no doctors themselves.