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ZXing vs Google Vision for Barcode Scanners

Hello everyone, we are in the world of automation, where it has been identified that newer businesses might need barcode/QR scanners in the application to make the process faster and secure (also called barcode readers). The sheer number of advanced barcode readers might’ve led to questions like “what kinds of information are barcode scanners capable of holding?” or “what applications could they have for my business?” We’ll answer some of those questions to give you a high-level overview of the world of barcode scanners and what these data capture devices can do for you and your business.

What is a barcode scanner?

At its most basic, a barcode scanner is an optical scanner that uses light to copy coded data, decode it, and transmit it to a computer. The barcode was originally invented way back in 1948, on the sands of Miami Beach. But it wasn’t until 20 years later when national grocers like Kroger pleaded for a solution to the long lines at supermarket checkout queues that the breakthrough technology would find broad adoption.

Initially, barcode scanners were often extremely limited in what data they could decode, with various industries all having their adaptations and requiring specialized or even proprietary technology to operate. You can see instances of this still lingering today, but thanks to advances in technology, modern barcode scanners are versatile and multifunctional.

How could barcode scanner technology help your business?

Barcodes are widespread in manufacturing, supply chain management, shipping and transportation, logistics, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and libraries. Today, with the rise of a 2D barcode technology called Quick Response code — better known as the QR code — even marketing and hospitality frequently use barcodes.

The more your business grows, the more sense it makes to consider barcode scanners to simplify your business and its data collection efforts.

  • Have more than a handful of employees, and are those employees’ provided laptops, tablets, phones, or computers by the organization? Barcode technology can track this equipment for easy maintenance and recordkeeping. Handling large volumes of shipments? Barcode technology can track shipments from origination to destination, anywhere around the world.
  • Having large work orders with lots of moving parts and individual tasks subordinates or a warehouse full of inventory? Barcode technology can quickly and easily assign items and tasks to work orders.

Simply put, any business that needs to track inventory or equipment should consider barcode/ QR Code and barcode reader technology to save time and resources while reducing costly errors and redundancy. Also reduces time/manpower efforts to feed the data to systems at each transaction’s point having multiple information in a single barcode/QR code.

Note: - In this blog, we are not going in deep about ZXing and google vision library, we are just trying to find the best suitable library for your project.

ZXing: - ZXing also known as “zebra crossing” is a barcode image processing library implemented in Java, with ports to other languages. The supported barcode formats include UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8, Code 93, Code 128, QR Code, Data Matrix, Aztec, PDF 417, etc.

How to integrate it →

Step 1 -> Add the Dependency in build.gradle - implementation 'com.google.android.gms:play-services-vision:15.0.2'

Step 2 -> Manage Runtime permissions and add required permission in Manifest file. READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE is required if you want to read the barcode from the gallery.

< uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />

< uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />

< uses-permission android:name="android.permission.CAMERA" />

So basically, both the library has their own merits and demerits let’s see which one will suit your project.

Advantage:
ZXing Google Vision
Can be used via Intents (little code required). It can detect multiple barcodes at once and work in any orientation
Can be embedded in an Activity, for advanced customization of UI and logic. If you have multiple barcodes of the same product (Like you have multiple barcodes of XYZ product in one image) on one image and you are trying to read it then it will return only one value because the product is the same.
Scanning can be performed in landscape or portrait mode. If you have multiple barcodes of different products (like you have the barcode of XYZ and ABC product) on the image, then it will return all values in the array.
The camera is managed in a background thread, for fast start-up time. Google vision library is faster, accurate, and flexible than any other scanner library.
Disadvantage:
ZXing Google Vision
Not good for multiple 1D barcodes. Google vision depends on the native library downloaded post-install to perform scanning.
ZXing is not that much accurate than Google vision
Documentation is provided clearly
Conclusion

According to us, both the libraries have their own merits and demerits but as Google vision is a recent library, that’s faster and more accurate than other libraries available with multiple features. We hope you have a clear idea about both the libraries and if you are still wondering which should be perfect for your project then Content with us to know the right fit.

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