We all know that the Semi Rugged Motorola ES400 has a camera based barcode scanner in it and you know, I have to be honest and say in my opinion it’s “OK” for some data capture applications where very low or adhoc reading is needed. In fact it’s far better than any of the consumer based scanners that you see on Android, iPhone or Windows Phone smartphones and this is l;largely due to it being a full Motorola Datawedge solution. When we put it through our RAMCert test centre (Coming very soon now!!!) which is designed for proper barcode scanners, it failed miserably, but I can’t deny that for some the scanner will be just fine!
However there is a new Camera Barcode kid on the block, whilst the Pidion BM170 is actually an established semi rugged PDA it now has a Pidion built and certified Camera Barcode Scanner and we have a beta of this on test right now. First results suggest it’s going to be at least comparable, if not better than the DataWedge solution in the ES400. We haven;t tested the API yet or know what the SDK will be like for the software but the actual app works pretty well.
Test highlights are below, but also judge for yourself, and watch the actual video of us adhoc testing both of them, you’ll see at the end we use an Opticon OPN 2001 with a typical 1D Laser scanner, to give you and idea of just how poor camera based scanners still are right now (Sorry but I had to have a small dig, I am still truly rugged at heart!!!!)
Distance/Flexibility – Winner ES400
ES400: 8 to 17cm
BM170: 6 to 12cm
Aim Test – Winner BM170:
Poor Barcode Reading – Tie
Reading Angle Test – Tie
The Rugged and Mobile blog.