Barcoding Inc.

September 26th, 2008

Scanning Barcodes from Cell Phone Displays

I’ve had a few questions recently about scanning barcodes from cell phone displays or other LCD screens and I thought adding this as a Question of the Week would help everyone out…

Question:

Is it possible to make a UPC-A barcode jpeg file from a barcode generator and send it to my cell phone, then scan that picture as my grocery membership card?

Answer:

In order to scan a barcode from an LCD display you would need a barcode imager.  Most likely, the registers at your grocery store are equipped with laser barcode scanners and not imagers.  Laser scanners aren’t capable of reading symbols from a cell phone display, so this won’t work.  It’s a good idea though.

This kind of application does exist for m-ticketing or mobile ticketing; you may be interested in reading my post about this technology.  Mobile ticketing utilizes 2D barcodes rather than a linear barcode like the UPC-A you mentioned in your question.  2D symbologies work best for this type of application and many believe the Aztec Code is the best suited barcode.  You never know, as the use of 2D barcodes spread, your local grocery store may upgrade to barcode imagers and then your application could work.  If you would like more information about barcode imagers or laser barcode scanners please contact me at ehodges@barcode.com.

August 20th, 2008

Mobile Ticketing

Many of you have probably printed your own ticket for an event- you purchase your ticket online and then print it at home and it has a barcode on it for admission.  I always do this when I’m going to a concert so I don’t have to wait in line forever.  Well have you heard about the newest evolution in ticketing?  Mobile ticketing, or m-ticketing, is poised to replace preprinted paper tickets with electronic tickets.  Instead of printing out your own ticket after a purchase online, a mobile ticket consisting of a barcode will be sent to your cell phone or PDA via SMS (Short Message Service).  This barcode can then be read directly from your mobile device’s screen for admission.  This type of ticketing is even more beneficial than preprinted paper tickets because in addition to better service it also saves customers printing costs.

According to HandHeld Products, the barcode best suited for this application is the Aztec code, pictured at left.  This high-density 2D symbology has a bulls-eye pattern placed at the center for critical data and this is where mobile display screens are brightest.  Having the data in the center of the screen in the brightest area ensures the best reads possible.  Of course a 2D barcode displayed on an electronic display will need to be read by a 2D imager.  But 2D imagers are very flexible and can read linear barcodes as well, so customers with paper tickets or m-tickets will have no problem attending an event.  This video from HandHeld Products explains a little more about mobile ticketing and shows some examples of its use.

For more information about mobile ticketing or the different types of 2D imagers required to scan these electronic tickets, please contact me at ehodges@barcode.com.