A bokode is a type of data tag which holds thousands of times more information than a barcode. They were developed by a team at the MIT Media Lab. The bokode pattern is a tiled series of Data Matrix codes. The name is a portmanteau of the words bokeh (a photographic term) and barcode – rewritable bokodes are called bocodes. They are much smaller than a barcode and are circular in shape with a diameter of 3mm. A bokode consists of an LED covered with a mask and a lens. They are readable from different angles and from 4 meters (13 feet) away by an SLR camera.

Currently they are expensive to produce as the LED requires power, but there are prototypes which manage with reflected light. Bokodes represent a privacy advantage compared to Radio-frequency identification tags (RFID): bokodes can be covered up, whereas active as well as passive RFID tags can be read from a distance with equipment that can receive radio signals.


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