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Digit-Eyes: Identify and Organize Your World

Digit-Eyes with Laser Scanners

There are currently 343,272,378 UPC and EAN manufacturer's codes in the Digit-Eyes database. These represent products from over 60 countries. The database is continuously updated to bring you the latest in product information. This is the information that is used by the option in the Digit-Eyes iPhone app that scans UPC and EAN codes. This information is also available if you want to use a laser scanner to enter item numbers or look up items by keying in the code. 

Why use a laser scanner? We don't really recommend using a scanner unless you have a special requirement. Digit-Eyes is designed to use the autofocus camera on the iPhone or iPad. The benefit of doing so is portability and convenience -- the phone is unlikely to be in the next room, out of battery or broken, as is common with special-purpose devices. However, if you have a need to scan a large number of items quickly or if you have problems using the phone to scan, you may want to consider using a laser scanner.

How does a laser scanner work? Laser scanners work by scanning a laser beam across a bar code and then measuring the intensity of light reflected back from the item scanned. Dark bars in the bar code absorb light and white spaces reflect light so that the voltage waveform generated by the photo diode is a representation of the bar and space pattern in the bar code. This waveform is decoded by the scanner in a manner similar to the way Morse code dots and dashes are decoded. Click here for more information about how a laser scanner works.

What kind of laser scanner can I use? Digit-Eyes offers you two options to use a laser scanner. One option is to use an Internet-connected laptop or desktop computer and a powered laser scanner such as the Metrologic; the other is to use a fob-style laser scanner that can be interfaced to your iPhone or iPad with Bluetooth.

Can I attach a USB powered scanner like the Metrologic to my iPhone? No; the Metrologic gets its power for scanning through the USB connection. The iPhone and iPad do not support powered USB connections; if they did, the laser scanner would very swiftly drain their batteries.

So how do I use a laser scanner with Digit-Eyes? The option works by running Digit-Eyes in a browser.

  1. On the desktop:
    Use any browser and connect a laser scanner that can emulate keyboard input to your desktop or laptop computer.  This type of scanner includes the Metrologic scanner and many others.  Some connect with USB and some connect with the older style PS2 keyboard connector.
    • Click here for instructions on how to use a tethered laser scanner with Digit-Eyes.
    • Click here to use a desk-top laser scanner with Digit-Eyes.

  2. On the iPhone, iPad, iPod or Android:
    Open a browser window on the device and bring up the website:   You can then pair a Bluetooth-connected scanner such as the KDC300 or Scanfob 2002 with the phone and scan products.
    • Click here for detailed instructions on how to pair and use the KDC300 with Digit-Eyes on the iPhone, iPad or iPod.
    • Click here for detailed instructions on how to pair and use the Scanfob® 2002 laser scanner with Digit-Eyes on the iPhone, iPad or iPod.
    • For a complete review of the two scanners and their differences, click here.


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