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barcode scanner with tablet

Posted on 2014-01-03
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Last Modified: 2014-03-13
I am wondering if anyone cab point me into the right direction.  I have created an app with Microsoft access and we currently use a USB barcode scanner with the program to capture barcodes.  I was approached and asked if I could make the program use windows 8.1 tablets with using the rear camera as a barcode reader.  I do not believe I can do this with ms access so I wanted to reach out to the experts on here to see if there's a way to do it.  Any help in this matter is greatly appreciated.
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Question by:russell12
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Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 250 total points
ID: 39755943
Access generally uses keyboard-wedge scanners, but if you can find a program that will allow you to use the tablet's camera as a scanner, and that also has some sort of API then perhaps you could do this.

Essentially, you'd need to either (a) fill in a Textbox on your Access form with the results of the scan or (b) use an API from within your program to interact with the scanner.

Or migrate the app to .NET, which would have a much better chance of interacting with those types of peripherals.
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 250 total points
ID: 39756093
<<I was approached and asked if I could make the program use windows 8.1 tablets with using the rear camera as a barcode reader. >>

  Oh, I think you probably could.  There's really not much you cannot do with VBA and Windows API calls.  The only real issue is one of performance.   If this is going to a low volume, occasional scan type of thing, then yeah it would be OK.   If high volume, then a scan gun would be a far better approach.   Maybe something that could talk to the tablet (check out Symbol, who have scanners with Blue Tooth, WiFi, etc).

  Technology wise, it's obviously possible because you can do that with a phone, and I'd guess that's where I'd look first.

  You'd be taking a picture and then trying to interpret that.  Something akin to OCR with a text document.

  But unless you can find someone willing to share logic, I think you'd be in for some work if you tried to do it yourself from scratch.

Jim.
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Author Closing Comment

by:russell12
ID: 39818749
I am sorry for the delay in responding to this.  I was in the process of moving.  I appreciate both of your responses.  I will take both answers as a beginning point and try to move on with this.  I have enough information to tell the client it is possible but will take some time to get the code written.  Thanks again!!
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LVL 58
ID: 39818899
No problem on the delay... hope the move is a smooth one!

Jim.
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Expert Comment

by:cindy313
ID: 39925483
sorry, not so understand for the barcode reader ,not using usb barcode scanner ? but why comes camera barcode reader? which one is better ?
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LVL 58
ID: 39925994
Cindy,

 I am not sure I understand your comment....a camera can be used as a bar code scanner, but it is not really designed for that task.   Because of that, it won't work as well as a device that has.

 For example, if you were trying to do a couple hundred scans quickly, I think you'd find the battery on your device would drain quickly.   Also because a laser is not being used, but rather an image, certain lighting conditions might be a problem, or reading poor quantity bar codes.

Jim.
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