Using an Android phone as a scanner

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controller
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:22 am

Using an Android phone as a scanner

Post by controller » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:25 pm

This solution uses an Android phone to scan in data then copies the result of the scan into a program (such as ours) which will then pass the data onto the NMVS. It is a useful tool for viewing FMD codes as text and for testing the scanned input function without having to source a data matrix compliant scanner. It is however clunky and slow; good for testing but no substitute for a dedictaed scanner in the real working environment.
To summarise:
  • The Android phone's camera scans the barcode and stores the data on the cloud.
  • The data is stored on the cloud linked to the user's account
  • A server program on the PC is linked to the same account, this picks up the code and writes it to the clipboard
  • The user pastes the clipboard text into the verification program and sends the data to the NMVS
The only data shared on the 'open' cloud is the FMD code which is printed in plain text on the pack anyway. The connection to and from the NMVS is secure.
A number of utilities should be able to handle this but there is a problem. The FMD code makes use of the global separator <GS> to pull apart some parts of the unique FMD code. A scanning program that reads in a FMD code and outputs it to any screen will not be able to output the global separator because it is not a printable character. So any program processing this cannot find the constituent parts of the unique identifier.
One working solution is Barvalid https://www.barvalid.com/ which recognises the global separator and because it allows the Windows part of the program to put the scanned data into the Windows clipboard it retains it. When the clipboard data is pasted into the FMD program and 'ENTER' or 'Process Single Pack' selected the code including the global separator is pulled apart and its 4 components (serial number, product code batch and expiry) are sent to the NMVS via the user's secure connection using the credentials supplied by SecurMed.

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