Software barcode scanning is now clearly a viable alternative to hardware barcode readers.
Up until recently, the core of any barcode scanning system has always been a fixed barcode scanner, handheld reader, or barcode scanning engine (module). These dedicated devices are often large and expensive. They are also difficult to integrate and network into more complex solutions.
In many ongoing trials, industrial solutions companies have already seen the benefits of software barcode scanning, or camera scanning, and have transitioned to software based designs. The camera choice is huge, ranging from tiny, inexpensive camera modules (as found in smartphones) to USB cameras and up to standard industrial cameras (from the likes of Basler, Teledyne, etc.). Unlike most barcode readers, these cameras are often based on the latest high-resolution CMOS sensors and offer the ability to capture wide areas with large depths of field in low light—particularly useful when you need to scan pallet locations or capture many barcodes at the same time. For example, industrial cameras with a 20 MP resolution are readily available.
Furthermore, using these cameras usually means a significant cost saving over dedicated barcode readers and a better project ROI. As an example, Viziotix powers the doks Innovation GmbH warehouse inventory robot and drone application, inventAIRY, which features onboard high-resolution cameras. In addition to the barcode scanning benefits, using software barcode scanning on cameras opens up the solution to applying other computer-vision tools or simply recording video evidence of a process.
For more information on the Viziotix/Doks drone solution, please see the case study. Let us know if you want to know more about using standard cameras and making the transition to barcode scanning software!