Vendors and users have long compared and contrasted the speed and performance of laser-based scanning with camera-based imaging solutions. Improved functionality, lower costs and enhanced barcode scanning speeds have all contributed to the widespread installation and integration of imagers to support several applications in varied markets. Successful penetration in high transaction volume environments has been non-existent, particularly given concerns surrounding their relative inability to maintain high throughput without compromising on features including, say, image quality. Until now.
At NRF 2013, VDC witnessed live demonstrations of two multi-plane bioptic scanner-scale products – by Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) and Datalogic – featuring a 100% digital, camera-based imaging data capture solution. Seeing these scanners in action highlighted all the attributes and characteristics that make them viable contenders to replace laser-based bioptic scanners in high-volume retail settings. Since we wrote about MSI’s MP6000 here, the focus of this post is going to be the Magellan 9800i, Datalogic’s latest bioptic scanner-scale.
The top-down scanner design of this imager enables attendants and cashiers to scan items at any angle without resorting to manual orientation. Like with MSI’s product, this Magellan version also provides support to a customer-facing mobile reader enabling customers to scan their mobile coupons, loyalty cards and others without disrupting the transaction and/or scanning process. Datalogic is the undisputed leader in the Stationary Point-of-Sale Scanning market with an extensive product line encompassing several different form factors – Bioptic, Presentation and Mini-Slot – while maintaining a sizable lead over the rest of its competitors in the space. The company has, over the years, fostered strong ties with leading retailers and integrator partners (including NCR and Wincor Nixdorf), pushing out its diverse scanning line to support multiple applications on the retail store-front. With the Magellan 9800i, the company is offering a migration path for its installed base to move from laser-based high-speed scanning to imaging solutions.
In VDC’s perspective, it will be interesting to see how the company makes use of its unique position in the industry with an extensive in-house expertise deploying imagers in industrial environments – in manufacturing and logistics verticals – to provide it with a distinct competitive advantage in retail. Will Datalogic be among the first vendors to bring “machine vision” from factory automation to retail applications?