If you hate those banner ads that pop up at the bottom of your screen while watching your favorite TV show (and who doesn’t?) the development team at Fujitsu may have some good news for you. They’re developing something that sounds both a little sci-fi and a little useful – invisible QR codes. Composed of light that is detectable by the cameras on today’s mobile devices but not the human eye, the technology opens the door for on-screen information and offers that doesn’t distract from the programming. A viewer would simply point their device at the screen, capture the code, and be able to access additional content or offers.
If you ask me, this technology is LONG overdue. I personally switched from cable to iTunes partially because I could no longer tolerate watching my shows with a bevy of dancing characters covering the bottom quarter of the screen. Seriously – you’re about to find out who the murderer is on Castle, and suddenly you have a line of bikini girls crossing the bottom of the screen to advertise The Bachelor. No thanks, ABC. I have to wonder, though, will television executives be comfortable making their ads and extra content totally invisible, leaving it up to the viewer to find it? Or will this usher in a new era of on-screen distractions, with large displays advertising “GET EXTRA STUFF NOW! NOW NOW NOW! QR CODE HERE!!” flashing all over the screen? Please let it be the former.