Fujitsu develops invisible video watermarks your smartphone can read

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How did Fujitsu manage to do this? By varying how light and dark the whole display is during playback, but not in a way the user can notice. By doing this, information can be embedded and repeated every second giving the smartphone camera time to capture it. An associated app then takes that data and does something with it, like loading a website, displaying a flyer, or playing a video.

The system is sure to be of interest to advertisers who want to show off products in their best light without filling the screen with information like a web address or phone number. Instead, they can just put an ad on TV and ask the viewer to point their phone at the screen to find out more. The same is true of any digital display ad that is a screen.

Fujitsu created the invisible watermark system for content protection originally, but then saw its potential as an advertising tool. And as the only thing you need is a special app on the smartphones we carry around, getting into consumer’s hands isn’t going to be a difficult task. If advertisers use the right incentives (free stuff for pointing your phone at the screen), we’ll happily use it, too.


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