|What is a UPC code?
The UPC (Universal Product Codes), EAN (European Article
Number), JPN (Japanese Product Number) and APN (Australian
Product Number) codes are printed on product packaging by
manufacturers to identify the item to point-of-sale systems.
The Digit-Eyes application ('app') on your phone can read many of these codes. When it finds such a
code, the Digit-Eyes app will look the code up on our host computer and tell
you what the item is.
is involved in this training section? The purpose of this
section is to acquaint you with the process of scanning a UPC
code and to let you practice scanning until the process comes
easily. You will need to have a phone or Internet connection
for this process to work.
Generally, you will be scanning a labeled container to find
the code for the contents of the container.
In this exercise, you'll start by using the printer
attached to your computer to print a worksheet that has a
sample UPC code on it in a known location. You will then
practice scanning the worksheet to learn how to get the phone
to 'capture' the bar code image. After the code is captured,
Digit-Eyes will look up the bar code and tell you what the
title of the item is. You should repeat this exercise until
you are able to scan the sample UPC code dependably on the worksheet.
When you've become comfortable with the process, you'll start scanning
the codes on manufactured goods.
and scan the worksheet! Click here
to open a new window which has a worksheet in it that contains
a sample UPC code.
Using the printer attached to your computer, print the worksheet on a
plain piece of paper. Place
the worksheet on a flat surface in reasonably good light.
Ordinary indoor light is fine; Digit-Eyes will advise you if
the light is too dim to get a good scan.
Hint: The iPhone is not a laser scanner. The typical
rapid back-and-forth sideways motion used in laser scanning
confuses the autofocus camera on the phone. When scanning
with the phone, you'll use a slow vertical motion in which
you pull away from the item you are scanning. For more tips
on scanning, click here.
Start the Digit-Eyes application on your phone and tap the 'Scan'
button on the screen to start the scanning operation.
You need to start with the camera of the phone close to the
location on the worksheet where the code is located and then
move the camera away using a slow, floating motion. This
motion will trigger the autofocus mechanism in the camera and
capture the image of the UPC code. The code you are scanning
does not need to be straight to the camera; Digit-Eyes can
read codes in any orientation.
On the iPhone 3GS, the typical scan distance for a UPC code
is between 3 and 6 inches / 8 and 15 cm. The iPhone 4 has a
better camera and, the range increases to between 3 and 12
inches / 8 and 30 cm. Start by holding the phone 3 in. / 8 cm.
above the paper you've printed and start the scan. You
will hear a beep when the scan starts, a repetitive clicking
noise while the scan is occurring and another solid beep when
Digit-Eyes recognizes the UPC code. If you do not get
scan results immediately, slowly move your phone a little
further away until you get to the maximum range. If you don't
get a capture on your first effort, move the phone slowly
closer to the paper. You may need to repeat this process a few
times until you get the second tone.
After you hear the second tone, the Digit-Eyes app on your phone will send the
UPC code to the host computer, get an answer about what the
item is and will announce the title of the item to you.
Yum! Where's the ice cream?
If you would like to know more about the item, you'll find
a link on the bottom of the screen titled 'Google search'.
Click this to use Google to search for more information on the
item you've just scanned.
You should repeat this exercise until you are able
to capture the code routinely. When you are
comfortable with this process, you are ready to scan products with UPC codes and you'll probably want to try a few!
Had enough fun? Then, please proceed to the next
section to practice creating and reading a Digit-Eyes text
label. Click here to learn how to scan Digit-Eyes text labels.
Did this section answer your questions? If not, please click here
to contact us.