Collector - Can you use camera to scan barcodes?

11177
26
08-01-2014 09:00 AM
Center_City_DistrictPhiladelph
New Contributor III

Collector - Can you use camera to scan barcodes?

We are looking into adding unique barcodes to each asset in the city that we maintain with integration with feature services hosted on ArcGIS online using the Collector App. I have come across this articlehttp://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/06/15/do-more-with-collector-using-barcode-scanners/#comment-...by @Jeff Shaner that shows that you can purchase seperate barcode scanners to use with collector but wondering if collector can use the camera that is already on the iPhone or iPads that we use in the field daily?

I know that there are many apps which have the ability to scan barcodes and pay or get additional information on items (Apple Store App) and there are plenty of QR code readers out there that the iOS devices can use. How can I use that technology that would scan a bar code, pull up the feature and location within collector and edit attributes the attributes of this barcode.

Thank you !

26 Replies
RussellRoberts1
Esri Frequent Contributor

If you are using a barcode scanner like the one in the blog you could setup in your map feature search on your layers and have it run against the barcode field. When you open the map up in Collector you can run a search and choose the scanner option on the keyboard and that would grab that string and run it against your configured feature search and locate the feature where you can view it on the map, view its details or edit it. I have not done much research into QR code scanners on iOS but I am looking into a keyboard option for Android and seeing if the same workflow mentioned above will work with that.

Center_City_DistrictPhiladelph
New Contributor III

Thanks for the reply but I do not want to purchase the scanner I want to use the camera app to do the scanning feature? Is there a way to trick the app to use the camera as a barcode scanner?

Richard Citkowicz

GIS Analyst

Center City District

Philadelphia, Pa. 19106

(p) 215-440-5575

Fax 267-440-5575

MiaogengZhang
Esri Regular Contributor

Besides copy/paste between scanner app and iOS Collector , I don't see a way yet. Maybe after iOS8 which supports custom keyboard is released, it could be feasible.

BrandonKeinath1
Occasional Contributor III

It looks like iOS 8 is available now.  Has anyone been able to test this functionality?  We really would prefer to use the phone's camera rather than an external device.

0 Kudos
GaryMorris1
Occasional Contributor

Has anyone release a custom keyboard that can scan barcodes?  I haven't seen one yet.

0 Kudos
MiaogengZhang
Esri Regular Contributor

I know some one is trying but met issues: ios8 - Custom Keyboard IOS 8/XCode 6 Objective C - Stack Overflow

0 Kudos
GaryMorris1
Occasional Contributor

It turns out that Apple will not allow access to the camera from a custom keyboard.  So that means no bar code reader in custom keyboards. 

Bar code reading would have to be added to the Collector in order to support this.  This is already suggested in ideas.esri.com.  You can vote it or comment on it here:  ArcGIS Idea - ArcGIS Collector Using Ipad camera for scanning bar codes

RichardHughes2
Occasional Contributor III

Its a workaround but you can get a free barcode scanner, scan the barcode, copy it to the clip board, go back to Collector and paste it into the attribute cell.

There is also free open source software called ZBar that can scan pictures of barcodes that are saved in a folder on a PC.

0 Kudos