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Topic # 147035 6-Jun-2014 13:34
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Hey guys,
So was speaking with someone today where they need to scan barcodes in their work yard to mark them off against a database (with a web front end). I thought it would be pretty simple to create a mobile site and have this run on an android hooked up to a barcode scanner. Is is possible to get some kind of bluetooth scanner gun which you could mount a smartphone on the top of perhaps? Or something else? The mobile site will probably be using quite a bit of fancy html5/css3 so a durable/grunty Android phone would probably be good to pair it with.

Maybe something like this:






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Stu

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  Reply # 1060384 6-Jun-2014 13:50
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Can you not simply use the phone's on board camera and install a barcode app? If the barcode is of the QR variety it could send them straight of to the right place, logging them in?

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  Reply # 1060386 6-Jun-2014 13:53
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Why would you not just use the phone camera? Then, use something like this https://github.com/manuels/unix-toolbox.js-exact-image/, for example, to read the barcode from the camera image.

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  Reply # 1060389 6-Jun-2014 13:58
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Moved to correct forum, resized image, updated subject to something meaningful. Pay attention folks. If you post gibberish in the wrong subforum the chances of getting meaningful help/comments is greatly reduced.





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  Reply # 1060424 6-Jun-2014 15:16
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Zeon: The mobile site will probably be using quite a bit of fancy html5/css3 so a durable/grunty Android phone would probably be good to pair it with.

Barcode scanners built into a Windows Mobile device are the kind of devices used by couriers and in larger warehouses.  Sometimes these devices have an app loaded onto them but increasingly they scan to a web page so the underlying OS on the device is becoming less important.

If being used in the 'yard' or warehouse of ANY organisation, the front end must be painfully simple.  A box that the scan code is entered into, a box to enter in the quantity of units (or a second box that the yardsman scans a quantity into from a handy set of barcodes stuck on a wall every few meters if quantities must be entered rather than repeated scans).  No 'accept/save' button on the screen even, just scan, scan, scan.

In that environment you might have a few clued up people, but you will also have some real 'grunts' and you are catering for the lowest common denominator.  The more whizz you add to the front end for the people at the coal face, the greater the chance of the whole project being a failure.  I cannot stress that enough.  The opinions of others may vary.

Motorola do some very nice PDT's (Portable Data Terminals) in varying configurations, and the extended warranties cover accidental damage.  They are not cheap, but who else would cover equipment being accidentally dropped off the top pallet rack in a warehouse in their warranty?




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  Reply # 1060433 6-Jun-2014 15:36
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Zebra Crossing is generally considered the best Android camera-based code scanner. Has good support for a variety of *code types. https://github.com/zxing/zxing Also have a user-friendly scanner app. Making a fork of the app which automatically sends scans to your web app may be the easiest way to go. I've found the camera scanning to be fast and reliable.

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  Reply # 1060438 6-Jun-2014 15:58
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  Reply # 1060458 6-Jun-2014 16:45
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Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. There is no way I could imagine a camera based barcode reader being used in a production environment - they are just way too slow and finicky.

Dynamic:
Zeon: The mobile site will probably be using quite a bit of fancy html5/css3 so a durable/grunty Android phone would probably be good to pair it with.

Barcode scanners built into a Windows Mobile device are the kind of devices used by couriers and in larger warehouses.  Sometimes these devices have an app loaded onto them but increasingly they scan to a web page so the underlying OS on the device is becoming less important.

If being used in the 'yard' or warehouse of ANY organisation, the front end must be painfully simple.  A box that the scan code is entered into, a box to enter in the quantity of units (or a second box that the yardsman scans a quantity into from a handy set of barcodes stuck on a wall every few meters if quantities must be entered rather than repeated scans).  No 'accept/save' button on the screen even, just scan, scan, scan.

In that environment you might have a few clued up people, but you will also have some real 'grunts' and you are catering for the lowest common denominator.  The more whizz you add to the front end for the people at the coal face, the greater the chance of the whole project being a failure.  I cannot stress that enough.  The opinions of others may vary.

Motorola do some very nice PDT's (Portable Data Terminals) in varying configurations, and the extended warranties cover accidental damage.  They are not cheap, but who else would cover equipment being accidentally dropped off the top pallet rack in a warehouse in their warranty?


Yea definitely thinking the front end should be super simple. Just scan into a box and show a result pretty much - waiting for the next scan. Wanted to add a couple of extra options like view history button and maybe play a sound (using javascript and HTML5) when the scan is successfully matched (or another sound if not). It would have to be AJAX I think.

Yea I was thinking of those Motorola ones as they are pretty rugged. Not sure if they have 3g/wifi and a HTML5 browser though?





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  Reply # 1060467 6-Jun-2014 16:57
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Whoa dude, don't buy expensive equipment equipment. Give them cheap android phones with rugged cases, fork the zebra crossing app to always direct to your website, you're done. No need to reinvent the wheel! Android gives all you need.







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  Reply # 1060491 6-Jun-2014 18:00
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Yea I think a cheap Android with super rugged case should suffice. I still reckon the camera based barcode reading will be too slow and cumbersome. A laser one should be faster and easier to aim.





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  Reply # 1060507 6-Jun-2014 18:25
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If you get a usb otg compatible android device then you can just plug in a regular laser barcode scanner and use that, I've done this with a Galaxy s3 and it worked flawlessly.

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  Reply # 1060541 6-Jun-2014 20:24
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Poll: If you get a usb otg compatible android device then you can just plug in a regular laser barcode scanner and use that, I've done this with a Galaxy s3 and it worked flawlessly.


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