Real-time Barcode Recognition

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Available IP Portfolios

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ID ICAP-055
Seller Jiazheng Shi and Jigang Jin
Sector Cameras; Mobile Devices
Assets 1 - US Patent
US Patents 8,439,260

Lot Summary

As mobile processors become more powerful, the speed and accuracy of camera-based scanning is increasing. As cameras decrease in size, their incorporation within wearables and external devices is becoming more common. The ubiquity and flexibility of mobile devices, and the de facto inclusion of cameras into these devices, has not only created a culture of ‘self-scanners’ – users who independently perform price comparisons while retail shopping, but also a large number of inventory tracking and point-of-sale systems offering competitive pricing by forgoing proprietary hardware in favor of mobile scanning.

Unfortunately, state of the art barcode scanning methodologies are slow and ineffective on uneven surfaces, such as bottles or crumpled bags, requiring users hold their phones stable for long periods of time to ensure accuracy. By contrast, this portfolio discloses an improved method of barcode scanning using the type of general cameras found on mobile devices. The method uses a set of compact point spread functions (PSF) to easily resolve and decode barcode information - even blurred or corrupted images. It exploits the minor shaking of the camera to improve the accuracy of the barcode result. Image pre-processing methods are applied to reduce noise and normalize pixel grayscale. On each normalized image, the invention checks if the image contains barcode lines. If there is a barcode, the invention tries to identify the beginning and ending positions of the barcode. The invention selectively decodes multiple scan lines across the barcode and matches against predefined barcode models. Best-matched barcodes can be buffered for instant recall.

This portfolio provides a critical function for various mobile eCommerce applications, such as price comparison applications, gift registration applications, self-check-out applications, product tracking systems, and camera-based scanners. ECommerce businesses (e.g., Amazon.com, eBay, Alibaba.com), retailers (e.g., Macy’s, JCPenney, Target), grocery stores (e.g., Safeway, etc.), and shipping companies (e.g. UPS, FedEx) can potentially benefit by incorporating this technology into their existing systems and applications. In 2013, U.S. retail eCommerce sales amounted to 260.7 billion U.S. dollars and are projected to grow to 536 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 (1). The future potential of the addressable market is huge.

(1) http://www.statista.com/statistics/183750/us-retail-e-commerce-sales-figures/

Due Diligence

Patent NumberFile History
8,439,260