BEAVERTON, Ore. A Beaverton company is creating new technology that could change how people interact with their smartphones.

For the past 17 years, the Beaverton-based company Digimarc has been the leader in a technology called watermarking.

Similar to the square QR codes that can be scanned by phones, watermark technology can alert people to discounts and promotions from companies.

The difference is that watermarks are invisible to humans. Instead, a small icon lets readers know there is a watermark.

Smartphones can sense the watermarks, which can be embedded in print and even audio.

When the mobile device recognizes that pattern, it then knows to go to an internet service like a video or mobile shopping experience, said Ed Knudson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Digimarc.

Users can then share the information from the watermark through social media or email.

Digimarc said they hope their technology will eventually replace barcodes and be used during TV programs and commercials.

KGW Business Reporter Joe Smith contributed to this story.

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