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The wrap-up: Phone cracks the bar code

Technical Research Centre develops and patents a bar-code analysis program that enables a digital camera phone to act as a bar-code reader.

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The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), together with the University of Kuopio and the Helsinki School of Economics, has developed a prototype for a service that can help consumers in their food choices. Consumers will be able to read product-specific information directly from a package's bar code using a camera phone, or by using the service at home via the Internet. The service shows the energy and nutrition information of food and also offers the possibility to use a food diary and an exercise calculator. Although people are increasingly interested in personalized nutrition information, package labeling can be insufficient or hard to read, and other sources of information may be unattainable at the moment it is wanted.

Practical and healthy

The project offers real product-specific information and other functions. The system includes information on approximately 700 products from the participating companies. The system was tested for several weeks by about 100 people in the Helsinki area.

The two-year project will end on June 30, 2005. In addition to VTT, the project received funding from the Finnish Food and Drink Industries' Federation, Elisa, Fazer Bakeries, Raisio, Sinebrychoff, and Valio.

For additional information, visit this page at VTT’s Web site.

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