QR codes can often be a bit cumbersome, and they're typically limited to opening up your web browser to a particular page. The MIT Media Lab has been experimenting with a new solution that looks to improve signage-to-phone communication. It's called NewsFlash, and it's an app that uses your smartphone's rear camera to pick up flashing color codes on electronic signs that are imperceptible to the human eye. In a recent demo the tech was shown off on iPads displaying newspaper pages from around the world. As you can see in the Engadget video below, the phone is able to receive information from the iPad's display thanks to the strobing color bars, and then open up the associated articles on the phone for one's own, personal perusal. Even better, in another demo the app recognizes an Egyptian newspaper and uses Google Translate to provide the paper in English on the user's phone. NewsFlash is just a tech demo for now, but we've seen other MIT Media Lab projects make it out of the laboratory before.

Update: We've removed the video at the request of those who worked on NewsFlash, but we've embedded another video explaining the technology.