Tag Archives: barcode reader SDK

Deck the halls with QR Codes? A Cautionary Tale.

By all accounts it is too early for this post. The mentioned of the ‘C’ word should be taboo, but the season of Christmas marketing is almost upon us. Marketing departments are starting to finalise their campaigns and try to find something different.

We will undoubtedly see many QR Codes as they try to capture the growing mobile markets. With the number of smartphones now used it is clear that they are a key part of how consumers interact with companies. Those companies who wish to spurn this development will be missing out on a large slice of the market.

However, despite reading many articles predicting a landslide of QR Code campaigns I think caution should be exercised. As I have mentioned many times in this blog you cannot force people to take the 20 seconds or so to scan a QR Code, you must offer them a reward! A shiny commercial for your product does not count, make it something worthwhile; a discount or some content of real value. What is more let them know what they will get before they scan, otherwise your QR Code may be lost alongside the thousands of others.

If you want to get your phone ready for QR Codes then check out our free barcode scanner app in the google play store or our Software Development Kits.

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Barcodes for Small Businesses

In charities and small businesses there is no room for waste, even small changes can sometimes be big decisions due to the resultant effect on already tight cash flows. However if you want to keep an organisation running smoothly and efficiently, investments must be made.

The Watford Observer has reported that the county council has awarded £750 to the Rickmansworth Toy Library to allow them to implement a barcode lending system. Many people working in business will be reluctant to take lessons from a local toy library, however it is something worth paying attention to. An efficient and automated system not only provides a check on human error but it also allows staff to concentrate on the less monotonous tasks which can really propel an organisation forward.

In small business there is always the option of a manual workaround, and often they do save money, but a long term view can help a small group of people have a big impact. For more information on what barcode reading could do for your business check out our ready-to-use barcode application.

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QR Codes… not just for the living!

I have covered this news story previously when an American funeral directors and head stone producer started included QR Codes on head stones. I did not think I would see it again as I was doubtful people would wish to do anything novel with a grave stone.

However the BBC have now reported that it is taking off as a trend in Denmark. Since it has reappeared it seemed worth giving it another thought and it occurred to me that this was an excellent use of the technology. I am still not sure I would use the service myself but it solves the issue of a graveyards anonymity. If you see a head stone all you can gather from it is a name and some dates, you may be lucky to get a small quote but other than that there is nothing else we can find. Therefore as a system to neatly provide more information it is perfect, although the links must of course be well maintained.

Despite the fact I will not be rushing out to invest in this industry it does show the potential of QR Codes. With less than an inch square you can provide unlimited information through any media format you wish; not just text. If you wish to find out more about the potential of barcode reading for your company then check out our website.


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Something Fishy Going on in Norway: New Barcode Standard Appears

There are a steady stream of news stories talking about what is next in the world of barcodes, RFID and NFC dominate headlines. However around the world it appears industry is sticking with the mantra of if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it. While QR Codes are heralded as a break through 1D barcodes are still clearly in the driving seat. They are cheap, simple and when linked to a database even a small barcode can provide more than enough information.

It is no surprise then that Norway have just launched a new barcode standard for fish boxes and pallets. Fishing is a huge industry in the Nordic country and has had to become highly regulated to ensure high standards. Barcodes can do this with ease and the investment in a new standard shows that they are far from on their way out. The reason for the change was to bring together several different systems and to established a single standard to which all could conform. Luckily in the world of barcodes such changes are not too expensive, simply means a change to the software and changing which barcodes you print; hardware can remain the same.

So don’t believe the hype, 2D barcodes and Near Field Communication may be all over the news but 1D barcodes offer the reliability and ease of use required by huge industry and will be with us for decades to come.

Do you agree 1D barcodes are far from obsolete?


For more information on barcode reading visit out website.

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QR Codes Now Supported on Windows SDK

We are very happy to announce that the Softek Barcode Reader SDK for Windows now supports QR Codes and our mobile SDK versions will not be far behind. After a lot of development and testing we think that it is a major enhancement but don’t take our word for it; try it yourself now!

But what if you already have our software? Don’t worry! Any of our customers who have active support and upgrade cover will soon receive an email with download instructions for the update. However if you can’t wait that long then simply send us an email atsupport@bardecode.com and we’ll get it to you straight away. For anyone currently unaware QR Codes head over to our blog for more information on what they are and how they are different to Data Matrix barcodes.

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What can Barcodes do for me?

This blog has spent quite a long time exploring the weird and wonderful new uses of Barcodes in business, but what about the more normal functions barcodes offer. Although QR Codes are fantastic for holding large amounts of information a 1D barcode can also provide  effective service when linked to a database.

It is therefore worth considering whether the adoption of barcodes across your business could help efficiency and performance. Just some of the most obvious situations where barcodes excel are:

  • Tracking mobile workers
  • Organising Paperwork by Page*
  • Tracking and Organising Parts through a Factory/Warehouse
  • Control the use of hardware by workers

*Organising paperwork by barcodes is something which has enabled an effective link between physical and digital information for a long time before QR Codes. Although it is possible to integrate it into existing software systems through our Barcode Reader SDK it can also be easy to implement using our ready to use application; Bardecodefiler.

Any other obvious applications?


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Merry Christmas and Cars Reading Barcodes

As this is probably to be the last blog post before Christmas it seemed only correct to wish our readers a Merry Christmas. If you are having any issues whiling away those last few hours then here is our festive QR Code… sorry no exciting colours sadly.

Scan Me!

Scan Me!

In other news it appears Google, who had stopped work with QR Codes to concentrate on NFC technology, have developed one of the most expensive barcode readers around; a self driving car! This news story which appeared last week describes how barcodes could be used to inform the car of precisely where it is, obviously quite important for a car let loose to drive itself. The issue arises due to the fact that GPS can sometimes only have an accuracy of around 9 metres which is probably about the width of many roads. Probably a little too margin for error!

The obvious benefit of the QR Code in this situation is its ability to encode a large amount of data, wouldn’t require a database to be linked to it and the reliability of the read you will get from it. Although I personally feel that new technology for cars without making them radically more fuel efficient is likely to end in ruin this is a fascinating project and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

So Merry Christmas all and stay tuned for exciting news and announcements!


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2012 London Olympics

As a business based just outside of London we currently can’t move for information about the London Olympics next year. Although many of those who don’t understand sport particularly have spent the last year or so grumbling about costs and travel disruption they are luckily in the minority. Aside from the obvious draw of the best athletes competing for the biggest prize in their sport is it not exciting to have the city filled, more than ever, with people from all around the globe?

What is more to be the nation which has bucked the trend of ever more extravagant venues and ceremonies for a more long term vision is something to be proud of. This proviso has been damaged a bit by the government’s decision to double the budget for the award ceremony but generally a legacy is an idea the nation should be excited about.

The south east has now got a top class under cover velodrome, meaning young track cyclists won’t have to go to cardiff for every training session. Furthermore they have refurbished the Herne Hill Velodrome, the only lasting venue from when London previously held the Olympics. Although we sadly missed out on tickets here at Softek, as did many, I see this as a positive thing; so many people wanted them! Far better than the empty seats which plagued previous Olympics. Luckily the first gold up for grabs, the Cycling Road Race, is free to watch along the route and the Manx Missle Mark Cavendish is a big favourite if it comes down to a bunch sprint.

Therefore although as a software business we don’t stand to gain from the Olympics through trade we here at Softek cannot wait for it. So wherever in the world you watch the Olympics remember the legacy!

What are your expectations of the London Olympics?


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Unlimited Mobile Data a thing of the Past?

Over in the USA Verizon has recently become the latest major carrier to stop offering unlimited mobile data to customers, instead customers must now choose the amount that they pay for through the cost of package they choose. With Christmas now almost upon us, a time of year when many people will be entering the smart phone market for the first time, does this show that the growth in mobile data use has really exploded in recent times? With increasingly more powerful phones is it feasible with the existing infrastructure to have everyone connecting to online videos and cloud services?

The point that struck me most about this story is that the entry level data allocation from Verizon is 2gb. Now in Britain phone companies offer ‘unlimited’ mobile data use which in reality is capped at simply 500mb! Myself, as an avid mobile internet user, barely get past 100mb a month since most places now have wifi you can easily hop onto. Therefore I would argue that unless you have decided to ditch the home internet in favour of simply using mobile internet, such as using your phone as a router, then this is unlikely to really cause any grief. However it is likely to be a first step and either prices will go up for data or allowances will come down… or more likely both.

The hardest part though is that new phones and new services such as cloud computing are going to put increasing demands on data use with mobiles. While I am confident that such issues will be overcome it is worth analysing the trends in mobile data offers to see how future mobile phone use may be effected; could QR Codes really take off if data become so expensive? Would it be worth a consumer using up a few megabytes to view a promotional video?




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