With the advancing digitization of retail, retailers are paving the way to a seamless shopping experience. In this context, electronic price tags, Scan & Go and mobile payment are among the current top developments. But arguably one of the biggest revolutions in brick-and-mortar retail was the introduction of barcode scanners. Barcode scanners have been in use in Europe since the late 1970s, enabling information to be captured in the shortest possible time.
This offers immense advantages: error-free goods recording, a faster purchasing process and, as a result, more efficient personnel. Today, scanning goods is an integral part of everyday life at the POS and it is hard to imagine life without it.
CortexDecoder - The market-leading scanning engine
Expert in this field is the global market leader CodeCorp with the scan engine "CortexDecoder". CodeCorp offers a variety of alternative uses for the scan engine in addition to brick-and-mortar retail. The targeted use of scan engines also makes processes more effective in the logistics, healthcare, booking or manufacturing sectors.
In terms of hardware, CodeCorp offers in-house devices that can be used to scan barcodes. Furthermore, the scan engine can be used in combination with electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and even smart glasses. From iOS to Android and Linux, all common operating systems can be used. The only requirement for equipping an end device with the CortexDecoder is a camera-based reading system.
The CodexDecoder can also convince with regard to the product properties speed, robustness, false-positive rate and costs and thus offers the basis for an optimal scanning experience.
Requirements for a scan engine
In doing so, the CortexDecoder masters the balancing act between the complex requirements that a scanner must bring with it: on the one hand, it must be good enough to perform under poor conditions, such as dim room lighting and dirty or damaged barcodes. Second, it must not be too fast and scan unwanted barcodes. CortexDecoder specialist Thomas Rissmann explains that this can be a major challenge:
(The) biggest hurdle for the decoder is to decide whether a barcode must be discarded as incorrect, or whether it must be read despite its errors. For this purpose, very efficient algorithms have been developed in the CortexDecoder over the years so that even poorly printed barcodes can be read by the user without any problems.
To prevent barcodes from being scanned multiple times because they are too close together, CodeCorp has since developed a solution. Users in that case get the option to select the desired barcode from multiple scanned barcodes.
Another challenge for the CortexDecoder is posed by erroneous barcodes that are not within standardized specifications required for barcode creation and reading.
Outlook into the future of the scanning world
Although certain barcode standards such as EAN-13 and EAN-8 have been established for several decades, new barcode types are constantly penetrating the market. For example, the EU Tobacco Regulation introduced a so-called dot code - CortexDecoder has responded accordingly with an integration. According to specialist Thomas Rissmann, however, the focus is on a different type of code:
We clearly see a global trend, in addition to 1D barcodes, to increasingly use 2D barcodes such as QR codes and DataMatrix.
In total, the CortexDecoder decodes well over 40 different barcode symbologies at extreme speed and accuracy - without the need for an Internet connection. At the same time, data protection is a top priority at CodeCorp: unlike other scan engines, the decoder does not store when and where which code is scanned by which customer.
As a Snabble technical partner, CodeCorp's CortexDecoder forms an important part of the Snabble app. This enables Snabble customers to scan their own merchandise using their smartphone camera. The scanning engine recognizes any commercially available barcode and displays the price and product name to customers at the same time as they point their smartphone camera at the barcode. This eliminates the need to enter the item number manually, which saves time and avoids incorrect entries.