Quite Captuvoting!

Honeywell has jumped into the iPod as mobile POS device fray, releasing the Captuvo SL22 iPod sled. Unlike most of the other sleds on the market, the Captuvo is backed by Honeywell’s advanced imaging and data capture division, giving it the durability and reliability you’d expect from their mobile computers.

The Captuvo comes standard with Honeywell’s Adaptus 6.0 Imager built in. This is the same scanner that’s in their Xenon 2D imagers and mobile computers, and is a fantastic way to scan pretty much any barcode ever. Optional models give you EasyDL driver’s license parsing, allowing you to use the iPod touch as a mobile credit card application system.

The Captuvo also can include an integrated MSR with encryption, minimizing your PCI risk while allowing you to take payments on the go. Using DES, TDES, or AES encryption with DUKPT key management support, the Captuvo’s integrated card reader is a fantastic addition to any line busting application.

Much like other iOS scanners, card readers, and sleds on the market, the Captuvo requires software designed to take advantage of its features. Honeywell has a free Captuvo mPOS Simulator application in the app store and will be releasing a Captuvo SDK soon.

Unlike a lot of competitor iPod Touch sleds, the Captuvo goes a long way to improving the durability. An IP30 seal protects the unit from dirt, and the sealed body reinforces the iPod Touch, giving it a drop resistance of 4-feet to concrete. To really drive home the point that the Captuvo is a durable device, Honeywell’s released a video showing drop tests in super slow motion. Behold!

The sled comes with a battery included, ensuring you get the same performance from the iPod Touch in the Captuvo as you on its own. This is the first sled I’ve seen that looks like it will hold up to retail use and abuse, and it’ll be a fantastic addition to any line busting, mobile POS, or trade show applications. The Captuvo does come at a premium price but even when you add an iPod’s cost to the mix you end up with something as powerful as an enterprise digital assistant but for much less. Though I am waiting for the Enterprise Toboggan.

Honeywell Voyager 1400g

July 12, 2012

Honeywell Voyager 1400gHoneywell has released a new Voyager, more voyagey than the old Voyager and way more voyagetastic than the original. The Voyager 1400g offers omnidirectional scanning and is a great fit if you’re looking to add 2D scanning to your business without breaking the bank.

The barcode scanner comes in three flavors: a 1D only imager, 1D and PDF scanning, and full 2D imaging. What’s really great about these scanners is that if you know at some point down the road you want 2D imaging, but right now you can’t justify the full cost, you can get the 1D model, then upgrade the scanner itself later on. No need to buy a full scanner each time you want additional functionality.

I’ve gotten to take a Voyager 1400g out for a spin, and it’s a great device. Standard UPC barcodes are read pretty easily from up to a foot away and at all angles, cutting out almost all of the hassles you run into with a standard 1D scanner. 2D barcodes are read equally easily, including Data Matrix, QR, and Aztec codes. The Voyager 1400g uses a red LED as an aimer, but a white light to illuminate the barcode, so if you have a way to power it, it can be a great makeshift flashlight.

The Voyager 1400g, by nature of being an imager, can read barcodes on cell phone or LCD screens. This is great for retailers looking to do mobile couponing, ticket checking, or just trying to see if you can read weird barcodes on screens. The scanner is not able to do optical character recognition (OCR) or image capture, but there’s the Xenon 1900 ready and waiting to recognize characters and take pictures, so no biggie.

We did run into some issues scanning outside on a sunny day. Our test sheet of barcodes is pretty glossy, and I think we managed to find the one angle where glare from the sun actually made it impossible to get a good read. As soon as a little shade covered the barcode, the Voyager 1400g would pick up the barcode. But really, it’s such a specific instance that it’s not too big a deal.

All in all, the Voyager 1400g is a fantastic and affordable addition to any business. The fact that you can easily upgrade the firmware to transition from 1D scanning to 1D and 2D scanning makes it great, in my mind, for retailers who want to scan 2D barcodes eventually, but don’t want to have to buy multiple scanners, or can’t justify the cost for a full 2D scanner quite yet.

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