Fujitsu has cooked up a new way to communicate with your smartphone through the television.
Through a sequencing of the amount of light onscreen, Fujitsu claims that they can pass along information up to three meters away. With this sort of technology, advertisers could send their customers a digital coupon, or they could send directly to their websites or Facebook pages.
Fujistu released a PDF file describing and illustrating the new technology.
"Our technology adds many tiny points of light into a video. By increasing or decreasing the number of lights, the brightness of the video is changed gradually. Our technology controls the number of lights and cause two types of brightness changes in it. One of the changes represents embedding '0' and the other is embedding '1'. Thus, we are embedding some digital information into the video. Furthermore the brightness changes slowly and smoothly, so the changes are invisible to the human eye."
From the description of the technology, is seems as if Fujitsu is introducing the QR code for video. Print advertisers have been able to bypass search engines on smartphones for years with their pixelated little boxes. Of course, in order to use a QR code on a TV ad, you'd have to keep that unattractive little box on screen for the duration of your ad to allow consumers enough time to dig out the phones from their pockets and access the correct app to scan the code.
Fujitsu believes that their new technology will not require any additional equipment to work. Current televisions will be able to pass along the data properly, and consumers will not have to ditch their current phones to have some sort of exclusive model directly from Fujitsu.
If this all works out smoothly, Fujitsu could be giving the television industry a huge boom in potential ad revenue. Smart advertisers are already looking for ways to bridge the gap from the TV to the internet, and the phone is the perfect opportunity since smartphone users usually have their devices with them while watching TV. In fact, many users already have their mobile devices out while watching TV, so that bridge might be even shorter than we think.