Blurry Barcode Scanning: What it Means and Why it Matters


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A short slidedeck Scandit CTO Christian Floerkemeier prepared for a recent industry event showcasing the reasons developers should support blurry barcode scanning in their mobile app. For more information, check out our blog at

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Blurry Barcode Scanning: What it Means and Why it Matters

  1. 1. Blurry Barcode Scanning: What It Means and Why It MattersChristian Floerkemeier,
  2. 2. INTRO2  Only the most advanced mobile barcode scanning solutions such as our Scandit SDK allow the decoding of barcodes in blurry images.  Open-source solutions such as zxing or zbar can only decode barcodes in sharp images.  This talk explains why barcode decoding in blurry images is a Blurry Barcode Decoding must-have for any serious app. with the Scandit SDK
  3. 3. WHY BLURRY BARCODE SCANNING MATTERS3  Essential for any device without autofocus:  Don’t miss out on an additional 140 million devices that could run your app!  Accelerates barcode decoding on average by 100%  App users will be scanning barcodes lightning fast  Scans barcodes reliably when the simple, “sharp-only” approaches fail  App users will not become frustrated because barcodes are not decoded
  4. 4. ESSENTIAL FOR DEVICES WITHOUT AUTOFOCUS4  Barcodes appear blurry because focus of camera cannot be adjusted  Using low-end barcode scanners means that your app will not be useable by customers with such phones Blurry Barcode Image with Android Phone Without Autofocus Camera: Huawei X3
  5. 5. DON’T MISS OUT ON 54 MILLION POTENTIAL ANDROID USERS5  Globally, 54 million Android devices do not have an autofocus camera  The lower the cost of the device, the higher the proportion of non-autofocus phones
  6. 6. DON’T MISS OUT ON 86 MILLION POTENTIAL iOS USERS6  86 million iOS devices around the world do not have autofocus cameras  This includes the iPad 2, iPod Touch (and the iPhone 3G)
  7. 7. AUTOFOCUS INTRODUCES DELAY7 Autofocus process takes 1-1.5 seconds on most devices
  8. 8. BLURRY DECODING ACCELERATES BARCODE SCANNING8  With built-in blurry barcode scanning capabilities, barcodes are decoded immediately.  Your app users don’t have to wait for the autofocus to finish.  Leads to a scanning time that is on average 100% faster. Blurry Barcode Decoding with the Scandit SDK
  9. 9. NO FAILED SCANS WHEN AUTOFOCUS FAILS9  Autofocus cameras cannot focus on tiny objects  such as the fine barcode on this pen  A blurry barcode scanner such as the Scandit SDK has no problems decoding such a barcode.
  10. 10. NO FAILED SCANS WHEN AUTOFOCUS FAILS10  Autofocus cameras cannot focus on barcodes held to close to the camera  Usersoften think the closer the barcode to the camera, the easier the decoding  Low-end barcode scanners that can only decode sharp barcode image will frustrate the user because the barcode is not decoded until placed further away
  11. 11. NO FAILED SCANS WHEN AUTOFOCUS FAILS11  Autofocus cameras cannot compensate for motion blur  Usersfind it often difficult to hold the camera still  Low-end barcode scanners without blurry capabilities will require the users to hold the camera perfectly still  Increases learning curve and frustrates app users
  12. 12. BLURRY BARCODE SCANNING IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS12 Shadow Non-uniform background Crumpled surface Transparent code on Glare round surface
  13. 13. ADVANCED IMAGE PROCESSING SOLUTIONS13 brightness values along sharp scan line 300 250 brightness value 200 150 100 50 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 position in scan line / pixels brightness values along blurry scan line 300 250 brightness value 200 150 100 50 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 position in scan line / pixels
  14. 14. CONCLUSION14  Use Advanced Barcode Scanning Solutions such as the Scandit SDK:  To increase the number of devices supported by your app by 40%  Tomake barcode scanning lightning fast  Toavoid frustrating your users with barcode scanning software that only works in ideal conditions Blurry Barcode Decoding with the Scandit SDK
  15. 15. FURTHER INFORMATION15 Blurry Barcode Scanning Blog Post Series Introduction: Why Bother? Market Perspective: Original Research Study Technical Perspective: Reasons for Use Additional Web Resources Try the Scandit SDK: Email: Twitter: @scandit Facebook: