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SP500X in detail – How the ScanPrinter works

Handheld recently launched the groundbreaking wearable SP500X ScanPrinter. This unique rugged wearable is the first of its kind, so as with all things new it brings the question: How does it work?

The usecase for the SP500X ScanPrinter

The wearable ScanPrinter is currently in use at the sorting facilities of one of the world’s biggest package handlers. A sorting facility is basically a pitstop for the packages, where they are sorted and sent to their next destination. Operations need to be fast and accurate and that’s where the SP500X comes into play.

When the packages arrive at the facility they are marked with a barcode containing a set of instructions. The workers at the facility then use the SP500X to scan the barcode and print the instructions onto the box. The user will read the instructions and place it onto the correct conveyor belt. The package will then arrive at a different location in the building where a second user will read a different part of the label and move it to the next stop. Eventually, it will arrive to the worker responsible for loading the trucks, who will read the label and receive information of which truck to load it onto.

Because the ScanPrinter is a hands-free wearable the user never has to turn away from the package and can keep their eyes on it the entire time. This will reduce the amounts of mislabeling and misplacements by a great deal compared to when using a stationary printer.

The SP500X is connected to the backend database which will make sure that the quickly changing information is constantly updated. The database will always have information on where the package is and where it’s going next. It removes the need for users to keep things in their heads and with that, removes a lot of human errors.

sp500x wearable innovation 2021

Getting started with the SP500X ScanPrinter

When the unit arrives it´s fitted with a finger-strap and a hand-pad, both of these are easily removable for cleaning or replacing. The wrist strap comes in two sizes and is easily snapped into place on the two attachment points on the sides. As a safety precaution, both of the straps are designed to break at the attachment point if the unit gets caught in for example a conveyor belt. This is to protect the user from harm.

The second step when you receive the unit is to install the ink cartridge. You open the front of the ScanPrinter with the press of a button and slide the cartridge into place. Currently, the ink comes in one color and is printable on most materials. If you accidentally print over a label on the package that barcode will still be able to be read, which can come in handy.

The next step is to install the battery, this is done in the back of the ScanPrinter. It only fits one way, when you hear a click you know it’s correctly in place.

When you start using the unit you fit the straps across your wrist and fingers. You can attach it across two or three fingers, depending on how big your hand is. The wrist strap should be tight but still give you enough movement so that the flexible strap allows you to bend your fingers to about a 40° – 45° angle.

SP500X ScanPrinter

The features

On top of the ScanPrinter there´s a configurable display where you can select what to keep track of. The display is easily navigated with the three buttons placed next to it. Among other things, it can show how strong the wifi signal is, battery life and user ID. It can also display how many prints have been done that day which can be a useful tool to keep track of productivity.

At the front of the wearable, you will find small starwheels which are there to help keep the printing run smoothly across the soft materials. The ScanPrinter is capable of printing at different speeds so different workers can easily use the same device.

The SP500X will let you know when you are running low on battery so you can swap it out and keep the wifi signal without it losing track of where you are and what you’re currently doing. The battery is removed by pressing two small buttons in the back. The unit can also be charged without removing the battery.

At the back, you will find a USB-C connection which is used for connecting and configuring the unit. This can also be done wirelessly.

The SP500X is fitted with a Honeywell 6603 so it’s capable of printing any of the symbology that is supported by that scanner. It’s also capable of printing any UTF-8 characters. With Handhelds label software you can also develop your own label and it can have both static and dynamic fields.

More info about the SP500X ScanPrinter can be found here on Handheld’s official website.