So 2nd in this series of 3 blogs about Barcode Scanning options for Rugged PDA’s and tablets, we’re talking about Bluetooth scanner options.

Bluetooth Barcode Scanners are small, handheld devices that connect via Bluetooth to your Rugged PDA, use them to scan barcodes and they either send the barcode data straight to your PDA or tablet, or they can be batched up and sent in bursts if required.  At first glance having a Bluetooth Barcode Scanner might seem a bit stupid!  Why have one if your Rugged PDA has a built in Barcode Scanner option?  Well lets lay out the Pro’s and COns right here:

Benefits of a Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

  • You have a separate battery so your scanner doesn’t impact on your PDA battery life.
  • You have a lot of versatility and flexibility scanning in tighter spaces or in different ways.
  • The scanner in the BT device may well have a better SDK and better scanner tech than your PDA.
  • You can put the PDA or tablet especially down and scan remotely, holding only a light device.
  • The BT scanner is a cheaper item to replace if you need to upgrade to 2D capable scanning.
  • You can buy a cheaper device with no scanner built-in.  This has 2 benefits.  (1) It increases the number of PDA/Tablet options and (2) you can keep the same device for your whole workforce who may not be scanning.
  • You can leverage existing PDA or tablet hardware.

Con’s of Bluetooth Barcode Scanners

  • A separate scanner means a different SDK to learn and use if you want to program it up in your own software, although it’s not a huge issue for your every day programmer.
  • Separate battery also means 2 charging requirements, 2 sets of chargers etc.
  • The scanner might not last the day, especially ones with built in batteries so charging options are limited.
  • You can lose the BT scanner!
  • You might have pairing and connection issues, although much rarer these days.
  • 2 devices might need knock on training cost for your workforce.

Some Myths!

  • Bluetooth technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years so they don’t suffer anything like they used to from poor connections.  In fact some will connect from 100M away!
  • BT Barcode scanners no longer have poorer technology in them, in fact if anything they’re better and more optimised for scanning.
  • BT Barcoode scanenrs are not rugged!  Well go and see how rugged Baracode scanners are and i’ll watch you eat your hat!

Next up we’ll look at the built in camera of the device and talk about the pro’s and cons of using it.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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