The Hard Facts: Software vs. Hardware img


When someone talks about "barcode scanning," it typically means hardware specialized for particular barcode types (1D, 2D, DPM, etc.) and for industries like healthcare, manufacturing, industrial, logistics, government, and others. Depending on the workflow, it may mean that there's a need for more than one type of barcode scanner. Costs can start to exponentially climb when upgrades are needed, or product life-cycles simply come to an end.

The mobile revolution introduced barcode scanning sleds. These added batteries and charging stations but still included dedicated scan engines to complete the scanning tasks. Today, software can turn any mobile device with an embedded camera into an enterprise-grade barcode scanner without any additional hardware or accessories.  How does software compete with purpose-built hardware?

Is it time to take your barcode scanning mobile?

Think about the camera on your smartphone. The high-resolution sensors, usually 12 megapixels or more, feature zoom and wide-angle lenses with built-in optical image stabilizers to help eliminate blurriness. These small cameras contain more imaging power than any barcode scanning hardware device available today. 

The software has always been the wizard behind the curtain making all the barcode scanning hardware work.

 Often, limitations in the hardware require the software functions and features to be scaled back or even turned off.

If there is a specific need for hardware, it is important to consider the software doing the work in the background because not all software is created equal. This has continued to be the number one differentiator for Code and explains why some barcode scanning brands simply work better than others. Code's world-class software has continued to raise the bar for over 20 years, easily reading and decoding barcodes others can't. The engineering behind the powerful decoding algorithm not only scans more barcode symbologies, it compensates for damage and less than ideal scanning conditions.

Great Camera + Amazing Decoding Software = Enterprise-Grade Barcode Scanner

In order to deploy software-based barcode scanning on your mobile device, you need an application that has integrated the software.

 One company that did this exceptionally well is 

Epic Systems and Rover 6.0 using Code's scanning software CortexDecoder. 

In healthcare, barcode scanning has become an essential element to patient safety in areas such as 

bedside medication administration.

 The Rover app has become an important mobile tool used at the point of care and deployed on many different mobile devices–those with dedicated scan engines and those without. This gives us the perfect example to illustrate the cost of ownership breakdowns when comparing hardware and software.

Below you can see dedicated hardware (Zebra TC51-HC), scanning sleds that hold the mobile device but still use a dedicated scan engine (Honeywell Captuvo SL42h), and then simply the iPhone using its built-in camera and a protective case with scanning powered by CortexDecoder software. Again, all devices doing the same job running the same app. It just so happens that the one using the mobile device's built-in camera delivers not only scanning and decoding superiority, but also the most substantial savings!

 

The chart shows that over a 3-year period, a company deploying Epic's mobile HIS app Rover can save over 37% simply using the add-on soft-scan feature, CortexDecoder. 

Prices were taken from the CDW website and based on a 1000 unit deployment.

Better scanning power and saving money! You can Expect More with Code! 

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