Archive for February 9th, 2010


Barcode scanning

So let’s say you want to put barcode scanning into your iPhone app. Sounds like a lot of work, yes? Well, no, there’s actually three options:

1. You develop your own barcode reader. Open source libraries like zxing are a great start, but they will not work on the iPhone 3G, still the most common iPhone out there. Most commercial libraries have the same limitation.

2. You license the pic2shop barcode scanner library and SDK. We spent hundreds of hours to make it work quickly and accurately on all iPhone models. Get more information from Vision Smarts’ web site.

3. You take advantage of the pic2shop: custom URL scheme to launch pic2shop, read the barcode, and get the barcode digits back in your app, for free.

Hey, that last one sounds interesting, yes? Aside from that depending on somebody else’s app bit. But they claim that won’t be a problem,

This method requires that your users install pic2shop. However, pic2shop is, and will remain, free, so it does not cost you or your users anything. Moreover, pic2shop is lightweight (less than 400k), and loads very fast.

Takes a little effort to set up a custom URL scheme and so forth, as detailed here, but hey it’s pretty hard to beat the price. An interesting side effect of that strategy is that you can also barcode enable your Web sites, since the invocation is a URL:

Web developers, the above link ["pic2shop://scan?callback=p2sclient%3A//EAN"] is all you have to do to integrate barcode scanning in your site. In your case, the callback will be a regular URL pointing to your web app.

That’s pretty nifty, indeed.

h/t: iPhoneFlow!