NFC Encoder Barcode and Text Scanning

The GoToTags NFC Encoder software works with any HID compliant scanners to improve the speed and accuracy of correlated encoding projects. Scanners provide a faster and more accurate way to input a tag’s lookup value (identity) than is possible via the keyboard or by clicking the tag’s row with the mouse. Barcode scanners can be configured to scan traditional 1D barcodes (Code 128, UPC..) as well as 2D barcodes (QR, DataMatrix…); while OCR based text scanners can be used to read printed text values. The scanner is easy to setup and integrate with the NFC Encoder software. If you are doing correlated encoding projects, we highly recommend using scanner integration.

Encoding with a Scanner

Once the scanner has been connected and configured launch the NFC Encoder software. If you are using a Motorola scanner (see below) and it has been configured correctly the scanner model will be shown in the scanner drop down on the main menu. If you are using an HID scanner, the scanner will NOT be listed in the scanner drop down. Using a scanner follows the same text input look up encoding process but uses a scanner to read the look up value instead of typing into the text box or clicking the tag’s row.

  1. Select the scanner you wish to use in the scanners drop down (if appropriate)
  2. Disable the “Auto Select Next Tag” encoding option
  3. Choose which value you want the scanner to look up the tag by
  4. Configure the appropriate encoding and look up settings
  5. Start Encoding
  6. If using an HID scanner, place the cursor in the look up text box by clicking within it
  7. Using the scanner scan the barcode/text to look up; this will select the appropriate next tag to be encoded
  8. Place tag on the NFC reader to be encoded
  9. Repeat #7 – #8 until encoding is complete

Zebra Barcode Scanners

The GoToTags NFC Encoder software has special support for Zebra barcode scanners that support the Scanner SDK for Windows. This includes a wide range of scanners including handheld, fixed mount, wireless and many other options. The choice of what scanner works best is left up to the customer for their specific environment. The scanner must be configured to use the SNAPI USB interface. The scanner configuration is set via the 123Scan2 utility.

We have tested the following scanners to ensure they work properly. The DS9208 is a great scanner for manual tag encoding by a human operator, while the the DS457 is a great option for a fixed mount scanning environment as is with the GoToToTags Reel-Reel NFC Encoder hardware.

Zebra DS9208
Zebra DS457
Barcode Scanner Setup

The barcode scanner setup is straightforward. All you need to get started are these items:

Once you have the above items and have installed the 123Scan2 utility you should configure your scanner for your appropriate encoding environment. With the 123Scan2 utility you can configure which symbologies to support, various lighting options, tag presentation options and many more. The only requirement is the scanner must be configured to use the SNAPI USB communication mode.

OCR Text Scanners

The GoToTags NFC Encoder software also supports HID compliant OCR based text scanners. These scanners are designed to scan printed text and transform it into text input the NFC Encoder software can use; just like typing the text on your keyboard. This is highly useful as NFC tags often have a printed text identifier on them for human readability, vs a qr/barcode which isn’t as ‘pretty’.

There are a couple OCR based text scanners available. We have tested the Ectaco C-Pen 3.0 & 3.5. They are relatively inexpensive and seem to work fairly well.

C-PEN 3.5

OCR text scanning is more of an art than a science; the proper environment is required for it to accurately work. The best scenario is with fixed-width black text on a white background. Each scanner and tag is different, so it’s important to test this process before attempting a large scale deployment.