Scanning & Imaging Technology

3/1/2004
As the calendar moves closer to January 2005 and the Sunrise 2005 requirement that retail technology handle 14-digit bar codes, a wave of versatile new scanners and imaging technologies are coming onto the market. The scanners are lighter in weight and offer greater features than the previous generation of these products.

Another advantage is their ability to reduce failure-to-deactivate occurrences. In addition, they are using less power than the previous generation of products and are now offered in a greater variety of sizes and functionality.

Recent Developments
According to Venture Development Corporation's "Global AIDC Industry Business Planning Service 2003," the global markets for hand-held and stationary bar-code scanners will sustain an annual growth rate of about 8 percent from now through 2007. The move to technology capable of reading the 14-digit codes will be a key driver of this sustained growth in the market. In this Techsplanation, we look at some of the latest scanner and imaging technology currently available in retail.

HHP Debuts High-Performance ImageTeam 5600 Linear Imager
HHP introduces its new high performance linear imager ImageTeam 5600 with an extended read-range for greater operator productivity. Based on HHP's imaging technology, the IT5600 acquires a bar code image and processes its content 270 times per second. The HHP digital image processor determines the data content and sends it to a host computer in a fraction of a second. The scanner has a 23-inch depth-of-field enabling rapid scanning at the point-of-sale by eliminating the need to be within 10 inches of the UPC bar codes. With applications where more information is required, such as shipping labels, insurance claims and invoices, the IT5600's extended read range easily registers wider bar codes and provides over 35 inches of reading range on common bar codes for package sorting and tracking.

Intermec ScanPlus 1802 Scanner Aids Fast Reading and Decoding
The ScanPlus 1802 Vista handheld barcode scanner from Intermec is used for price management, asset/document tracking and PC fabrication and assembly. The ScanPlus 1802 Vista scanner offers the speed of Intermec's Vista technology for fast reading and decoding of all bar codes, including those that are damaged or very small. It is able to read PDF-417 and connect with more than 1500 interfaces with a radio range up to 50 feet and a battery capacity to 10,000 scans.

Metrologic Wireless Device for Low- to Medium-Throughput POS
Metrologic's VoyagerBT is a wireless, laser bar-code scanner designed for low to medium throughput POS or light warehousing applications. The device incorporates Bluetooth wireless technology for mobility. Once the integrated IR sensor becomes automatically activated and an item is scanned, the data is transmitted wirelessly to the host. Voyager is typically used in applications in supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse shopping clubs, light warehouse and manufacturing operations.

NCR RealScan 32 Scans Hard-to-Reach Items
The NCR RealScan 32 is designed for scanning hard-to-reach or heavy items, helping retailers keep their high-volume checkouts moving smoothly. The "Scan Companion" harnesses the energy that is generated when the operator pushes a thumb button located on top of the scanner, eliminating the need for a motor to move the scanner's laser beam, keeping initial cost and power usage low. Three AAA batteries, used to power the light source and electronics, generally last through 30,000 scans. The "Scan Companion" operates in either tethered or cordless modes. In cordless operation, it stores up to 500 bar codes in memory, with fast uploading from a docking station.


New Tech News
HP enhances its small- and medium-sized business (SMB) offering, making HP Color LaserJet printing more affordable. The HP Color LaserJet 3500 and 3700 series printers complement its broad portfolio of imaging and printing systems. HP also introduces Point-of-Sale Migration Service for Retailers, intended to help retailers migrate from existing, proprietary POS platforms to open industry-standard POS systems €¦ Sun Microsystems and Manugistics improve Manugistics' Store-Level Replenishment Solution by re-architecting the application to the Java 2 platform Enterprise Edition running on the Solaris operating system on SPARC technology. The solution now gives retail customers a competitive advantage by optimizing their business processes and enabling them to forecast demand at individual stores €¦ CRS Retail Systems introduces three new applications: CRS SalesAudit, LaborManagement and RetailConnect. The products address retailers' needs for sales audit and analysis, workforce management and enterprise application integration respectively. The additions add key functionality to improve general operations, financial control of store transaction data, and integration of multiple store-based and host-based applications €¦ CommercialWare launches CWLocate, a merchandise location solution that reduces lost sales and optimizes inventory disbursement by allowing retailers and direct marketers to easily view inventory availability across all sales channels. €¦ Intermec Technologies' 700 Series of mobile computers are the first handheld devices approved for voice transmission on AT&T Wireless supporting Global Packet Radio Service (GPRS) wireless technology and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). The 700 Series provides AT&T Wireless subscribers with the option to buy a rugged mobile computer powered by the Microsoft Windows Pocket PC operating system.

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