Barcode scanners are indispensable in numerous industries, such as retail, parcel shipping, and healthcare. Barcode scanning methods have become increasingly convenient and efficient, especially through wireless scanning devices. From conventional handheld laser scanners to high-performing mobile computers, enterprises have countless options to enable mobile barcode scanning for their employees. But are dedicated scanning devices still the best tool for all use cases? Or can cheaper, more flexible smartphones deliver the same performance? Let's now discover what modern technology in 2022 has to offer.
Smartphones: high-performing power tools on a budget
Enterprises deal with barcodes constantly, whether in store inventory management, parcel delivery, or directly in the warehouse. Thus, the barcode scanners used must perform well under any circumstance. Delays frustrate your customers, hamper your employees, and cost a lot of money.
But how do smartphones measure up? Can a barcode scanning app really match the performance of dedicated wireless scanners? The answer is yes. To see why, let's take a look at the five most important factors:
Speed: Current smartphones always have several CPU cores, each running at 2.6 GHz on average. This ensures a fast, frictionless scanning experience for users.
Ruggedness: IP and MIL-STD ratings indicate how robust a smartphone is. Many standard models are water and shock-proof, and tough shell cases offer additional protection.
Performance: The Scanbot SDK allows smartphones to match the accuracy and speed of dedicated hardware scanners, delivering results with an average accuracy of 98.7% and within a fraction of a second – even with damaged barcodes or in low lighting.
Battery: Modern mobile devices have plenty of power to last the day. They commonly offer battery capacities of over 4000 mAh, with high-end models even reaching 6000 mAh. On top of that, Barcode Scanning SDKs are optimized for low energy use.
Data Protection: Regular security updates, remote data wiping, options for separating business and private use, and reliable data encryption are must-haves and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.
Deciding between wireless options – why are smartphones the best barcode scanners?
Now that we've established the technical suitability of smartphones as wireless scanners, let's see how your business can benefit from using smart mobile devices.
- Traditional barcode scanners scan only one barcode at a time, making them slow and inefficient. In contrast, software solutions like the Scanbot Barcode Scanner SDK offer multi- and batch-scanning, which enables 113+ barcode captures per minute.
- Handheld scanners cover only 1 use case: Barcode Scanning. Laser scanners are unable to decode 2D symbologies like the QR Code, limiting enterprises to using 1D standards or opting for expensive imager scanners. Smartphones, however, support both standard barcode types and can be used for a variety of use cases, such as real time parcel tracking, order management, and many more.
- Standard wireless scanners usually give no visual feedback. As a result, scanning errors go uncaught and cause problems downstream. Smartphones are ideal for giving both immediate feedback and user guidance. This ensures that users only store 100% accurate data for frictionless processing.
- To actually display scanned data, conventional scanners require an external computer, which is inconvenient and limits employee flexibility. Smartphones display the captured information on the spot, making them ideal for usage on the go.
- Dedicated hardware scanners require extensive training, as they are not a device of daily use. Usually, employees are already familiar with smartphone usage and can start working with them right away.