In the last post we talked about Bluetooth Barcode Scanners, however there is another type of wireless barcode scanner that uses WiFi technology instead of Bluetooth. Bluetooth is regarded as a PAN technology (personal Area Technology) and is largely designed for connecting things wirelessly that tend to be within a few meters of each other. WiFi is the technology we all know and love (Or hate when it fails) that our wireless routers at home use. WiFi is a LAN (Local Area Network) technology and it’s designed to connect things together over far great distances, more like 300-400 meters so it often connects devices on the same site.
The Beauty with WiFi based wireless barcode scanners is that they can start to give you real freedom as they can connect and talk to your own network without the need to install tills or PC’s all over your site. Often your wireless network infrastructure is already present and it’s just a case of tweaking and updating it to ensure no back spots or bottle necks and you;re away.
Why Bother with WiFi based Barcode Scanners?
Well there are a lot of barcode scanners on the market that can do a lot of processing and logic right on the scanner. In fact some are nothing more than scanner-like design rugged PDA’s with full operating systems on them that can be programmed to do anything you want. This means you give your users the freedom to walk about your huge warehouse, scan and not worry about having to always be within range of a host device to capture and deal with all the data being scanned.
Whereas Bluetooth scanners are great for just removing wires, WiFi ones can give you huge freedom to walk around your whole site talking directly to a server located safely away.
Benefits of WiFi over Bluetooth
Range – is the main thing here, giving you as much range as your want only restricted by your WiFi network.
Ruggedness - if you work in a rugged environment then this type of barcode scanner puts less tech in the rugged environment. Your sensitive equipment like servers, PC’s, tills and printers can all be removed from the rugged areas, leaving only the (Hopefully rugged) Wireless barcode scanners at any risk to the cold, wet, dusty and tough environment.
Functionality - WiFi Scanners tend to have far more functionality built-in to them and they also have keypad options so you can use them in much the same way as a full rugged PDA and they can often be all you need for the whole application. They also tend to have far great scanning engine options with Extended range etc scanners being available. Bluetooth scanners tend to be small, cheaper scanning devices with not much else about them!
Ergonomics – WiFi scanners are designed for all day use, they are usually “Phaser” in style with superb ergonomics.
That’s it then the bumper barcode guide is all but complete and we’re going to end the blog here for this year. See you all in 2012 and lets hop its a prosperous year for us all!
The Rugged and Mobile blog.