Business processes are constantly updating. The demand for more information, faster, has made more and more processes obsolete. Pencil and paper inventories went by the wayside with the introduction of 1D barcodes. And while 2D barcodes have by no means replaced 1D, it is clear that if the demand for more information continues to climb, (which we have no reason to believe it won't) the future of barcoding will lie in 2D imaging.
Not Just for 2D Scanning
A common misconception regarding 2D imagers is that they only add value for companies that utilize 2D barcodes. The truth is, 2D imagers possess a number of additional functionalities that all businesses can benefit from, whether or not they have the current need to scan 2D barcodes.
Superior 1D scanning: while Laser scanners are still the predominant scanner in the market, 2D imagers are actually better equipped to read 1D barcodes. One reason is that they do not require a scan line to be aimed across the horizontal bars of a bar code: instead, an imager takes a picture of the entire barcode and uses image processing software to decode it.
Laser scanners send out a sharp, horizontal beam to decode the vertical lines of a barcode. This requires the user to have a steady aim when reading the barcode, a task that can be difficult when reading from range or when moving on a vehicle.
2D imagers take a picture of the entire barcode, thus making the reading surface area much greater than laser scanners. Imagers become much easier to use because they can read symbols from any orientation, and do not require a scan line to be aimed across the lines of a barcode. In this way, they can more easily read damaged barcodes, and they can also read more than one barcode at once.
Digital Imaging & Video: if your process consists of the need to take pictures (for proof of delivery, condition of inventory, etc.) you can eliminate the need for a separate digital camera by instead using an imager. Video recording capabilities are also available through imagers.
Signature Capture: the digital photography capability can be used to capture signatures, a particularly useful feature for workers who do not carry mobile devices with signature capture touchscreens.
The additional functionalities that the 2D imager brings beyond its ability to scan barcodes make it a cost-efficient option that can eliminate the need for workers to carry around multiple devices. Under the constraints of a low-budget - with the ever-present demand for more efficient processes and more powerful data collection - the multi-functional imager gives you the flexibility to meet multiple business demands all within one device.
Laser scanners are by no means obsolete in today's world, but as business processes demand more information and more functionality, the need for superior technology will only continue to rise. The last thing you want is to update your facility with brand new laser scanners only to find that you suddenly need 2D processing, digital video, or signature capture capabilities that are beyond the ability of your current hardware. Investing in 2D imagers now not only gives you superior reading and comfortability for 1D processing, but also gives you the assurance that your devices can handle new business initiatives that require additional functionalities.
Source credit goes to this Honeywell whitepaper regarding 2D imagers and the future of barcode scanning. Read more by clicking above!
Cover photo credit goes to Honeywell International Inc.