Barcode Reader & Real-Time Web Services

Android and iOS devices can instantly turn non-photo IDs into virtual photo IDs for visual verification anywhere there’s Internet connectivity.

How? It’s simple. With the codeREADr app, scan the person’s barcode ID and then take their photo. Both the ID and photo are stored in real-time in the cloud. When scanned again by authorized app-users (guards, administrators, etc.), they will see the persons picture along with any other data you’ve associated to that ID.

Articles relating to best practices for access control and attendance applications can be found here.

The use of iOS and Android devices has exploded in the enterprise space. Forward looking developers and IT departments are creating new revenue-generating and cost-saving services to track, validate, authenticate and collect data using these amazing devices.

For asset tracking applications the use of iOS and Android devices can be particularly convenient and cost-saving.


Because deploying purpose-built mobile computers to every field service worker is a logistic nightmare and prohibitively expensive, especially for independent contractors.

Instead, these workers can freely download the codeREADr app to their own smartphones, enter their authorized app credentials and then scan on behalf of their employer or client. Every day we have over 10,000 app-users doing that – mostly using their own devices, though some use provisioned devices where it makes financial and logistic sense.

What’s changed?

The roadblock for using these devices for data capture had been the barcode scanning performance using just the device’s built-in camera. We’ve solved that problem with our SD PRO camera scan engine. Its opened up new applications to capture, collect, analyze and act upon field data that were previously not viable.

UID tags

Let’s look at UID tags printed with standard or inverted DataMatrix barcodes (examples). The typical smartphone app reads these codes quite slowly and inaccurately (if at all). However, with SD PRO our app instantly reads theses codes.


To demonstrate, we scanned sample UID tags manufactured by a leading suppler of durable tags for asset tracking – Camcode. Watch the 45-second video at the beginning of this post.

Alter Scan

As an added benefit,  codeREADr’s integrated cloud-based Web service offers the ability to alter scan values and scan responses in-app and also alter how the data is exported in a template. In this way the scanned data from a UID tag can be formatted however a client needs it formatted.

Export Data

That data can be merged with timestamps, GPS coordinates, photos, and textual data collected at the time of the scan. Those scan records can then be filtered, shared, exported and inserted into local or cloud-based databases hosted by third parties or the client.

Read the rest of this entry »

Now re-size the effective decoding frame on iOS and Android devices to selectively scan a targeted barcode among many other barcodes within the camera view.

decode frame

In addition to re-sizing you should select just the barcode types you plan on scanning. In that way scanning is faster and our decoding engine ignores the barcodes that you don’t want to scan. You can enable this in the app’s settings or on the Advanced tab when editing/creating your Services.

After each scan you can prompt the app-user to collect additional information, including form entry (text or voice-to-text), multiple choice, photos, drop-down menus and secondary barcode scans. Look here for more info.

The resulting scan record will include the barcode value, timestamp, location (optional), the app-username and any supplementary data collected. Those scan records can be filtered, and viewed on the Scans page; shared with the CSV Download Link feature; downloaded locally or auto-inserted into third-party databases; posted directly to your servers; or fetched using our API. Look here for more information.


Update: codeREADr is now on the Chrome Web Store to download directly to Chromebooks.

From time-to-time we get requests to run the codeREADr app on PCs and Macs, not just iOS and Android devices. Now you can – and in an easier way than installing Android emulators.

Google published the ARC Welder tool enabling developers to test their apps before publishing them in the Chrome Web Store. With the ARC Welder and our Android APK you can install the codeREADr app on PCs or Macs running the Chrome Browser.

If your device has a high quality webcam (ideally with autofocus) it can be used for scanning barcodes. However, utility and scanning speed are much improved if your attach a USB scanner or pair a Bluetooth scanning accessory. After you open the codeREADr app and select a Service, tap the ‘Manual Entry’ tab to get the cursor blinking in the entry field. When you scan with the accessory it will populate that field and automatically advance. If it doesn’t auto-advance, ask your accessory manufacturer how to configure it with a return line after each scan.

Your online and offline recording and validation services will work fine. However, at this time you won’t be able to connect to Dropbox for storing any photos you capture.

It’s on our developer’s agenda to publish the codeREADr app in the Chrome Web Store but in the meantime you’ll need to request an APK from us: support [at]

You can find instructions on installing ARC Welder here.

Note: Each time you open the codeREADr app after it’s in sleep mode (idle for 2+ hours), the app is immediately visible but it can take 30-60 seconds for the app to be ready to accept scans again.

App-users can scan, validate and post barcode data, timestamps, GPS locations, photos and form data using iOS and Android cameras – no scanning accessories are required. 

Today we launched a Postback URL tool allowing captured data to be automatically inserted into QuickBase – a customizable, third-party database service hosted in the cloud.

We aim to improve data capture and collection with fast scanning, the convenience of using the just the cameras of iOS and Android devices and now the automated insertion of captured data into cloud-based databases like QuickBase.

The app creates formal scan records consisting of the barcode value and associated data, including timestamps, location, visual evidence and the answers to conditional questions presented to the app-user after each scan.

If the app-user’s device has Internet connectivity, scan records are inserted in real-time. Alternatively, if network or Wi-Fi connectivity is slow or unavailable, scan records are stored on the device until connectivity is restored.

Fast, Accurate Barcode Scanning

Our app’s SD PRO camera-based scan engine can read 47 different barcode symbologies, including those printed on IDs, badges, tickets, industrial assets, consumer goods, invoices, receipts, packing lists, shipping labels, etc. It can quickly and accurately scan virtually any barcode, even the most complex, small and badly damaged ones

On the reporting side, our clients use our servers to view, filter, export and share their scan records in template form. However, a number of clients also wanted to insert those records directly into third-party databases. We enabled that with our API but that requires coding. Launching our QuickBase tool is the first of many we will offer in the coming months that require no coding.

Please look here for instructions for setting up your Postback to QuickBase.

” … more than 100,000 hours of current combined study time data from nearly 10,000 unique students is utilized in 1st year program research and other university retention and engagement studies.”

EMU Sign

[This is a follow-up to the original case study.]

The Holman Success Center at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) began utilizing codeREADr’s services in the fall of 2012. Since then, we have logged a total of 144,790 scans. codeREADr has become an integral part of our daily operations, seamlessly and easily providing accurate, real-time data from numerous areas of the campus that had previously presented complicated logistical issues.

With an ability to design and deploy mobile data collection processes almost instantly, it has been easy for the Holman Success center to expand the use of this system into numerous other administrative areas of the university.  What began as two (2) scanning devices tracking attendance in a small study tables room, has grown to 140 scanning devices collecting and measuring data from dozens of different types of events and activities all across a campus that supports over 23,000 students.

An example of just a few of the ways we utilize the codeREADr system at EMU:

Study Tables Attendance

Tracks the total number of sessions and amount of time each student attends.  Accuracy is critical here for a number of student populations.  The Athletics department reports their student-athlete hours to the NCAA for compliance purposes, and we also track students who have attendance requirements based on academic probation standards.  Aside from these uses, the more than 100,000 hours of current combined study time data from nearly 10,000 unique students is utilized in 1st year program research and other university retention and engagement studies.

General Education Requirements

Students at Eastern Michigan University are required to attend a number of activities such as plays, speaking engagements and other social events in order to earn requisite Gen Ed credits.  codeREADr has been and continues to be used to provide an easy “check-in” solution for many of these events.

EMU Rewards Program

As additional motivation to become engaged with the university, we incentivize students to attend sporting events and other social campus activities by offering various prizes and rewards (ranging from free sunglasses to a free semester’s worth of tuition) for participation.  We integrate codeREADr data with other systems to determine point allocations and prize redemption status.  This has been particularly effective in terms of bringing Athletics and Academics together to achieve common goals.

Book Loaner Program

Many of today’s college texts are expensive, so the Holman Success Center provides the highest-demand texts for students to “check out” at our study tables locations.  QR code labels are created for each text and the system scans them in and out each time they are in use.  Not only does this allow us to monitor inventory easily (all texts still accounted for) but also to measure frequency of usage and other helpful metrics like dates and time of day.

Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction

As part of our academic support role, we offer students free drop-in-tutoring and supplemental instruction for our highest demand courses that present the most common challenges (like Math and Sciences).  By tracking attendance at these sessions we are able to accurately determine which courses to offer, staffing levels and schedules.  This data is also being used for research in terms of participation in relation to G.P.A. and other academic metric benchmarks.

Overall, we couldn’t be happier with the codeREADr system and how it continues to simplify our processes.  It’s extremely light footprint offers minimal hardware expense, an intuitive interface that makes personnel training a snap, and an easily administrated back end with flexible reporting output.  On top of all of these things, the leadership and technical support that codeREADr provides is best-in-class, developing customized functionality and helping us to develop and refine many of the processes we use every day.  It is a critical component to how we do business and with an upcoming admit class that is projecting to be the biggest in Eastern Michigan University’s 165 year history, will only continue to grow in scope and application.

John Williams
Technical Specialist
Eastern Michigan University

nrc voucher

Supporting dignified choices – ‘Paper Plus’ cash voucher programming in camps in Jordan

On March 4, 2015 the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) addressed the Inter Agency Standing Committee in Geneva, the foremost coordinating body in the humanitarian assistance sector and chaired by a UN High Commissioner, on the subject of their voucher projects in Jordan.

According to Roger Dean, the cash and voucher coordinator for NRC Jordan, the presentation was well received and added, “We’ve created quite a stir here.”  [We wrote about the NRC’s innovative projects several months ago (read here).]

The codeREADr team is proud to support such a worthy cause. Congratulations to Roger, NRC’s management and their entire team.

A copy of the presentation can be found here:

2015-03 NRC – Paper Plus cash voucher programming in camps in Jordan

Excerpts from the presentation: Read the rest of this entry »


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