Wearables in the Spotlight - October: Hand Scanners

Ubimax, October 5, 2018

As the world leading experts on wearable computing, it is a given that we are all about wearables. Therefore, they are the focus of this blog series! Regardless of the companies producing them, quality judgements, or preferences, we want to shed a light on the devices that Ubimax’s customers are working with to optimize their business processes.

This blog series is perfect for everyone who shares our passion for wearables.

This month, we will have a closer look at three devices which perfectly complement our vision picking solution xPick. A central goal of our wearable computing solutions is to keep the workers’ hands as free as possible so they can use them to undisturbedly perform their tasks and activities. With the help of the type of hand-held scanners that are the focus of this article, we achieve a high degree of flexibility for different logistics scenarios.

Socket Mobile DuraScan® D750 1D / 2D

Type of Device | Barcode Hand Scanner
Developer | Socket Mobile
Weight | 112.5 g

With the DuraScan® D750, the American manufacturer Socket Mobile offers a hand-held scanner that is connected via Bluetooth to a terminal device, for example smart glasses. All usual operating systems (Windows, Android, iOS) are fully supported.

When scanning, the D750 uses a red LED aimer, which is of particular interest for those locations where the use of laser technology is prohibited. The 617 nm red LED aimer scans precisely, supporting motion tolerance and, thus, prevents decline in both scan quality and speed due to slight motions during the scan process. It doesn’t matter if the scanned code is 1D or 2D, as the D750 supports both code formats. Errors in the barcode, such as smaller wear spots or poor print quality, do not hinder the scanner from scanning it correctly. Depending on the configuration by the user, performed scans, whether successful or not, can be confirmed acoustically via sound or haptically via vibration. After being discharged completely, it takes six hours to fully recharge the powerful 1400 mAh lithium-ion battery, which provides the scanner with enough power for 16 full working hours on an average of four scans per minute – that’s 14,000 scans in total.

KOAMTAC KDC 300

Type of Device | Barcode Hand & Glove Scanner
Developer | KOAMTAC
Weight | 54 g

KOAMTAC's KDC300 Barcode Scanner is just 37 x 83 x 21 mm (1.4 x 3.2 x 0.8 inches) in size and offers, besides its LED-based and high-precision 1D and 2D scan function, 8 MB on-board memory. This memory enables the electronic storage of over 400,000 scanned codes, which can be administrated via the integrated display. Additionally, the KDC300 stores the current time stamp in real time. The connection to the terminal device is made via Bluetooth.

The 650 mAh lithium-ion battery covers a full work shift when being processed under high performance conditions. It can be recharged via micro USB and easily replaced, if required.
KOAMTAC's scanner also offers a practical solution in terms of wearing comfort. The scanner can be placed in a special glove on the back of the operator's hand. This leaves both of the worker’s hands free to work in spite of manual scanning procedures. Scans are started through a button on the glove which can be operated with the thumb. The glove is available for both left- and right-handed users. The scanner’s low weight is evenly distributed through its integration in the glove on the back of the user’s hand. Therefore, the wearable can be worn for a long time without a loss of comfort.

Zebra RS507

Type of Device | Barcode Finger Scanner
Developer | Zebra
Weight | 121.4 g (standard battery)

Zebra's RS507 finger scanner weighs just over 120 g with its standard battery and measures 29 x 53 x 74 mm (1.1 x 2.0 x 2.9 inches). The connection to the terminal device is via Bluetooth. Operating the RS507 is rather simple: the scanner is slipped over the index and middle finger with an adaptable hard rubber base. The scanning process is started by pressing the side button with the thumb, whereby the holder can easily be used by both left- and right-handed, thanks to the built-in pivot bearing. Advantage: free hands without further ado.

Equipped with a 624 MHz microprocessor and a 655 nm laser, the RS507 scans and recognizes barcodes in a fraction of a second, supporting both 1D and 2D codes and providing a comparatively high scanning range. For example, barcodes of the type Code 93 in a size of 20 mils can be detected from a distance up to 62,5 cm (24.6 inches). Larger scaled barcodes are detected from even much greater distance. With an average of four seconds between each scan, the 970 mAh lithium-ion battery can handle 20 full hours of continuous use - equivalent to approximately 18,000 scans.

Durable, intuitive, uncomplicated, comfortable.

Both the Socket Mobile D750 and the Zebra RS507 offer convincing industry-proof design and have been tested for safety against falling (1,5-1,8 m / 4.9-5.9 ft), extreme resilience to temperature fluctuations (-20-60°C / -4-140°F), and resistance to liquids (IP54 sealing).

Considering the internal memory and the various electronic functions, the KOAMTAC KDC 300 is slightly less robust. However, it can easily withstand temperature fluctuations of 0-45°C (32-113°F), drops from 1.2 m (3.9 ft), and humidity of up to 85% (non-condensing).

Depending on the use case, each of the presented scanners offer advantages which optimally harmonize with Ubimax Frontline. Factors such as scanning frequency, type of goods to be scanned, and distance from barcodes play a role in choosing the right scanner. If a high scanning frequency is not required, the Socket Mobile D750, which can be worn on the belt or around the neck by means of a pull-out strap, provides the advantage of completely free hands between scans. If high scanning frequencies are required, the KOAMTAC DKC 300 and the Zebra RS507 enable fast scanning without the requirement of reaching around, thanks to the fact that they are carried directly on the hand.

Generally, the camera of the smart glass is suitable for scanning codes. However, when hard-to-reach positions of barcodes come into play, such as codes close to the floor or at great heights, external scanners offer a significant improvement in terms of both efficiency and ergonomics, as there is no need to bend particularly low or stretch very far.

Communication is everything.

When scanning, the connected client decides independently whether the process was performed correctly or incorrectly. The client receives the necessary information via Wi-Fi from the Frontline Command Center, which in turn communicates with the enterprise resource planning or warehouse management system. The corresponding feedback is then immediately visualized on the smart glass.

Every scanner offers its own advantages. The decision, which scanner performs best in which use case and in accordance with Ubimax Frontline, depends on various factors. With years of practical experience, we stand by our customers’ side, helping to assess which solutions fit the company’s needs best – just ask, we will be glad to advise you!