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Bokode encodes information in the bokeh of an image
A Bokode tag taken in and out-of-focus.

A bokode is a type of data tag which holds thousands of times more information than a barcode over the same area. They were developed by a team at the MIT Media Lab.[1] The bokode pattern is a tiled series of Data Matrix codes. The name is a portmanteau of the words bokeh (a photographic term) and barcode. Rewritable bokodes are called bocodes. They are circular with a diameter of 3mm. A bokode consists of an LED covered with a mask and a lens. They are readable from different angles and from 4 meters (13 feet) away by an SLR camera. Powered bokodes are expensive because of the LED and the power it requires, but there are prototypes which manage with reflected light.[2]

Bokodes convey a privacy advantage compared to Radio-frequency identification tags: bokodes can be covered up with anything opaque,[dubious ] whereas RFID tags must be masked by material opaque to radio frequencies, such as the sleeve provided by the NYSDMV when issuing enhanced State IDs.[2]


  1. ^ Barcode replacement shown off, BBC News, 27 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b Ankit Mohan, Grace Woo, Shinsaku Hiura, Quinn Smithwick, Ramesh Raskar: Bokode: Imperceptible Visual Tags for Camera Based Interaction from a Distance, Camera Culture Group, MIT Media Lab.

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