From wired to mobile barcode scanners
Going from analog to digital tools such as barcode technology when tracking inventories has streamlined pretty much every warehouse in the world. And nowadays, it’s basically a technology available for everyone since the majority of smart mobile devices have image readers that can decode barcodes.
Whether using a free app or more sophisticated software, you can easily transfer the collected data to a computer via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Gone are the days when having to use a wired connection from your mobile device to the computer gathering your data.
Using a smartphone as a barcode scanner
The easiest way to get started is to download a barcode scanning app of your choice on your smartphone. Some apps are specialized in an area such as inventory management while others come with different features.
You might find it easy to get started with scanning barcodes using your own smartphone, but there are some things to take into account when using consumer-grade devices for tasks like these.
- Durability: You can always put a case on your device for some extra protection if you’re working in a tough industrial environment. But in the long run, this quick fix doesn’t protect all parts of your device since it’s simply not built for it
- Repair costs: If you brake a smartphone these days, it’s often more expensive or actually impossible to change just one part of it. Therefore, you’ll probably end up having to buy a completely new unit if something breaks.
- Interferences: If your employees are using their own phone for work, they’re very likely to be interrupted during the day by personal texts, phone calls or social media.
- Battery power: Performing these tasks on a mobile device means it will be under heavy-use consistently during the entire day. Not many smartphone batteries will hold up to that.
Read more: The magic of TCO
Using rugged multifunctional devices
Investing in a fully rugged device for any barcode task means you’re fully protected against the problems stated above. Rugged mobile devices survive repeated drops and can often read barcodes from greater distances, plus do so faster than consumer-graded devices.
There’s also a wide range of dedicated accessories available for rugged computers being used as barcode scanners such as pistol grips, ultra-high frequency readers, and extra long-range options.
If you wish to mount your mobile device in a forklift, there are several sturdy options available for that when using a rugged mobile computer as well.
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about where you want to read barcodes. These devices are IP-rated and meet stringent military standard tests, meaning they can operate in both extreme temperatures and will handle dust, water, and vibrations.
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