Motorola MP6000 Scanner

January 8, 2013

mp6000I never thought I’d make a post about a scanner / scale combo on this blog, let alone two. And here I am, writing about the Motorola MP6000 that was just announced and will be on display at NRF. This bi-optic scanner / scale hybrid grocery store barcode scanner is yet another big move toward making your grocery experience a pleasant one.

As I said before, most grocery stores have in-counter scanner / scale combos, and most of them were built over a decade ago. Technology progresses, but who wants to plop down 30 grand to upgrade 16 checkstand’s worth of scanners when they’re working alright. Maybe now they’ll do it, because the MP6000 comes with not one, not two, but up to three 2D imagers built-in.

The industry is slowly but surely moving toward imagers for data capture. In the past few years image capture technology has improved dramatically while costs have cratered, making them an affordable way to scan barcodes. Also there’s only so much you can do to a laser before you start burning things. Anyway, the three scanners in the MP6000 provide the same scanning capabilities you see in their DS9808 and DS9208, namely super aggressive with superior motion tolerance.

Those bi-optic laser scanners are also ridiculously loud. Like CRAZY loud. We had one in the office as a demo for a bit and the sales guys would routinely unplug it or cover the scanning windows so it’d go into a sleep mode. But once it woke up, two sets of spinning prisms would kick into gear and you’d get a great hum permeating through the office. Thankfully, the MP6000’s imagers have no moving parts, so you get near silent operation. I guess there could be some noise from the general computer hums or something, but nothing like the old scanners.

The third barcode scanner is an optional side-mount imager, so now customers who have mobile coupons or customer loyalty apps can scan their stuff without handing their phone over to someone else. This should make checkout a lot more convenient for customers and faster for everyone involved. I do have an inquiry out on driver’s license parsing but I don’t see why that wouldn’t be built-in.

Motorola tuned the MP6000 to save you on energy bills as well. The imagers are controlled by a series of infrared sensors that only activate the scanning array when a barcode is in range. Once it scans a barcode, it shuts back off. I have been told this cuts the power use tremendously, and Motorola’s fact sheet claims at least 30% energy savings over the competition. That’s a pretty solid cut. Once I get some real actual numbers we’ll get some back of the envelope math on energy consumption/savings.

All in all, this is going to be a pretty significant shift in high volume grocery scanning. I can’t wait for greater detail to come down from the Moto mothership, it’ll be interesting to see what the total cost and return on investment the MP6000 brings to grocers.

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