One of the coolest iTunes 11 features has got to be the new redemption system. It allows you to scan gift codes using your Mac's camera system. As the screen shot above shows, all you have to do is hold up your iTunes barcode and let your camera do the work. No more laborious typing of barcode-supported gift cards is needed any more.
Click Use Camera and then use the interactive camera feed to hold up and scan your card. You can only redeem cards that have a box around the code letters, as you see in the screenshot above. Here is Steve Sande redeeming himself. He isn't actually a gift card, but he pretends to be one on alternative Sundays.
TUAW first noticed Mountain Lion's Core Recognition framework early this year and suggested that it might be used for this kind of redemption through the "CRCodeRedeemer" class. We're gratified to learn we were right on the money.
Mike Rose pointed out in his original write-up that there's even more this tech could be capable of. As he wrote back in Feburary, "This technology would be even more interesting if Apple's 2011 patent application for 'digital handshakes' ever sees daylight. With barcodes or data embeds printed on your devices with invisible ink, you could log into your Mac just by waving your iPhone at it -- which would require that your Mac have some barcode-reading savvy."