For Android devices, I am able to use the barcode keyboard scanner by Tec-it. There is a free trial. THe actual app is $3.99. I am able to use it in order to scan a barcode from my android smartphone, and it then automatically translates barcode text into the entry field. This way I am able to scan a barcode on an asset in the field and have the label number populate in the field within the ArcGIS collector app. I don't know if they have an equivalent app for Apple devices.
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