Compact bar code scanner for Internet applications

Microvision’s Imaging Solutions Group has successfully demonstrated, several months ahead of schedule, a miniature hand-held scanning device .

Microvision’s Imaging Solutions Group has successfully demonstrated, several months ahead of schedule, a miniature hand-held scanning device that will enable low-cost, low power bar-code scanners to be used by consumers as input devices for applications such as mobile Internet.

The demonstration, conducted at Microvision headquarters, is a first step in the group’s previously announced plans to develop a line of image scanning products spanning a range of price/performance points.

The company’s strategy is to deliver enabling scan-engine products ranging from very low cost devices aimed at the potentially explosive mobile internet market to very high performance devices aimed at more sophisticated two-dimensional and three-dimensional industrial and medical imaging applications.

The prototype device is about two and a half inches long, just over an inch and a half wide and about three quarters of an inch thick, and fits neatly in the palm of a hand. The company believes that the device, which will be further miniaturized to less than half of its current size, has the potential to be one of the smallest, most cost-effective and usable scanners in the market, which is a key feature for devices targeting widespread use by consumers.

‘The device unveiled today incorporates proprietary decode technology that results in significantly higher scanning performance than other low cost scanners at a cost that is intrinsically lower than alternative designs. As a next step we’ll add some very novel scanning optics to further improve the device. This demonstration is a confidence-builder because the deviceperforms very well, and the design would appear to enable our objectives ofvery small size, very low power, and very low cost,’ reported Chris Wiklof, Business DevelopmentManager for Microvision Imaging Solutions Group.

‘The prototype bar code scanner announced today will be used as a test bed for measuring user interaction with the device, and we expect a second-generation device incorporating improvements resulting from focus group responses to be delivered by the end of January,’ continued Wiklof.

‘Simultaneous with the development of a very low cost consumer scanner, Microvision is developing models with even better ergonomics as well as higher performance devices. Depending on the interest level of our business partners, we anticipate initial production of commercial barcode scanning products in the second half of 2001.’

More about Microvision at http://www.mvis.com