[FX.php List] Wireless BarCode Scanners

Bob Patin bob at patin.com
Fri Jan 15 17:46:26 MST 2010

I'm working on a project now that involves barcode scanners. We're dealing with it 2 different ways: 

This client has 2 tourist museums--one in Branson, MO, the 2nd soon to open in Pigeon Forge (Gatlinburg), TN; we're using barcode scanners to scan product in the giftshop, and also for scanning tickets at the entrance.

In the giftshop, I believe they're going to install counter-mounted scanners; incidentally, these same desktop-mounted scanners were used as props on the bridge of USS Enterprise in the latest "Star Trek" movie.

This is an all-Windows shop so I haven't tried out the scanner on the Mac, other than a cursory test, but it's been interesting writing code to scan products. I ended up using an on timer script trigger and it works extremely well.

Bob Patin

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Brentwood, TN 37024
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On Jan 15, 2010, at 6:21 PM, Dale Bengston wrote:

> Hey, let's start a rumor that bar-code scanning is yet another feature in the mythical Apple tablet!
> This has come up twice in my recent lifetime. Once was to scan items in a warehouse. The best idea we came up with was to bolt a laptop with a USB scanner to the forklift. The other one is doing inventory at a school library.
> It adds a lot of time to empty a shelf and haul books to where the computer with the scanner is located, and it would be easier to take the scanner to the books. Lacking funds, my hack solution is to put the computer (a Mac mini) on a rolling table, and get a long extension cord.
> I'd prefer an easier (and cheaper) solution than what's available. Keep the ideas flowin'!
> Dale
> On Jan 15, 2010, at 5:40 PM, Jonathan Schwartz wrote:
>> You know, it was the client who balked at handing out iPhones to delivery drivers.  But I suspect that outfitting them with FedEx-like wireless bar code scanners along with wireless service would probably be alot higher.
>> Coincidentally, I started using the RedLaser just last week. What a cool product.
>> J
>> At 2:51 PM -0800 1/15/10, Troy Meyers wrote:
>>> Jonathan,
>>> I have no good answers, but we are looking at it. If you are excluding iPhone as a platform, then this isn't relevant to you. If iPhone is it, then prior to iPhone OS 3.0 we were approaching the problem using an FSK-input method to the iPhone (without jailbreaking) from a pen scanner with some adapter hardware, through the dock connector. It's physically cumbersome.
>>> Now, under 3.1 there are a couple of nicer possibilities, one is using the RedLaser SDK which actually uses the iPhone camera to look at the barcodes. The SDK allows you to collect scans for your own app. It won't work for us right now, though, because that SDK doesn't support Code39 which is what we must use. I don't recall the ones supported, but if you dig around surrounding this page:
>>> http://www.redlaser.com/SDK.aspx
>>> you might find it. I know UPC is one, and perhaps another (EAN?)
>>> Occipital will potentially add Code39 or others in the future (based on email conversions with them) but their plate is pretty full right now. Perhaps if you asked too, it'd add fuel to the fire.
>>> The other possibility is that supposedly Bluetooth is more accessible under 3.1. I don't know if it's accessible enough. I'm awaiting delivery of a Bluetooth pen scanner (Baracode Pencil2) which, if it can be made to cooperate with the iPhone would be idea for our application. For us, a pen (especially one without a cord) is best due to ambient light and physical accessibility of the barcode issues. If I can interface the Bluetooth then we'll build data collection from the pen into the app, which really is a CWP application but has to be inside a special "scanner Safari" that allows field to be filled with scan data when appropriate, instead of from the "keyboard".
>>> This is all thought-exercise at this point. I'll know more when the pen arrives and I start figuring out that portion of the iPhone development stuff. I have no idea if any will really work out.
>>> -Troy
>>>> Anyone done anything with wireless hand-held bar code scanners to
>>>> report deliveries, ala FedEx, UPS and the like?
>>>> I know that I could make an iphone friendly CWP application without
>>>> the bar code part, but that's not the target.
>>>> J
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>> -- 
>> Jonathan Schwartz
>> Exit 445 Group
>> jonathan at exit445.com
>> http://www.exit445.com
>> 415-370-5011
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