Tagging Technology for the Masses

Proposal Abstract

The concept of tagging technology is not a new one. Researchers have been experimenting with different tagging technologies for years. Their attempts included RFID tagging, bar codes, Infrared tags and others. However, for pervasive computing to truly become a reality, it must be provided to the masses As a proposed solution, we will attempt to build a machine-readable image that can be produced with a conventional laser or ink-jet printer, and is readable by a camera phone, or camera equipped PDA.

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Proposal Presentation

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TTM Tag Generator

This application encodes text into 6-bit ASCII and generates a TTM tag for use. The TTM tag can then be saved as a bitmap and embedded into a printed document.

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A sample icon is displayed below:

This icon was created with the icon builder utility, and contains the URL of this page (www.santoni.ca/cs848/).

The image specification is as follows: 1% padding around the perimeter of the image
2% width of the angle brackets
1% spacing between the angle brackets and the 'data' section
10% length of angle brackets (both width and height).
The data portion is evenly divided by the number of bits placed there (13-bits in this example). There is no spacing between the bits. The 13th column and 13th row contains parity bits (even parity). The last bit (169th bit) is not used.
Current Progress

CS848 has long since ended, and the project has been shelved. The PocketPC prototype was completed, although it was not very tolerant of rotational alignment problems. (We have a scheme to deal with it, but no time to implement it.)

Our earlier attempts with the prototype suffered from contrast problems. The camera was producing images that were too dark to be decoded. The solution was a simple gamma correction scheme (this is not the same as thresholding). The improvements can be seen below:

After correcting the contrast problem, we were easily able to decode the tags that were properly aligned with the camera. See the gallery for a screenshot of the prototype.


PocketPC Prototype

Tag Generator Tool

Desktop Prototype

The prototype actually running on the PocketPC

Dan Santoni
Trevor Maynard