High-Speed Single Scanning

What is SparkScan?

For most people integrating scanning for the first time our pre-built component SparkScan is the best and quickest place to start. It includes a pre-built scanning interface that floats on top of any native application.

This bundles multiple scanning features together and addresses many common challenges associated with scanning on smart devices.

_images/intro.gif

Run SparkScan Samples

ListBuildingSample

A simple sample that demonstrates how to populate a list of scanned barcodes using the Scandit SparkScan API.

SparkScan Quick Start Guide

Add the SDK to your App

Prerequisites

  • The latest stable version of Visual Studio.

  • A Xamarin.iOS project with minimum iOS deployment target of 13.0 or higher. Or a Xamarin.Android project with target SDK version 23 (Android 6, Marshmallow) or higher.

  • A valid Scandit Data Capture SDK license key. You can sign up for a free test account at ssl.scandit.com.

Note

Android devices running the Scandit Data Capture SDK need to have a GPU or the performance will drastically decrease.

Add the SDK

The Scandit Data Capture SDK is distributed as NuGet packages.

You will always need to add the Scandit.DataCapture.Core.Xamarin package, which contains the core functionality used by the other data capture packages. In addition, depending on the data capture task, you will need a reference to:

  • Scandit.DataCapture.Barcode.Xamarin (ScanditBarcodeCapture API) if you want to use barcode-related functionality such as barcode capture or MatrixScan.

  • Scandit.DataCapture.Parser.Xamarin (ScanditParser API) if you want to parse data strings, e.g. as found in barcodes, into a set of key-value mappings.

  • Scandit.DataCapture.TextCapture.Xamarin (ScanditTextCapture API) if you want to use text recognition (OCR) functionality, often combined with barcode scanning to deliver simultaneous barcode and text capture.

You can safely remove Scandit.DataCapture.Barcode.Xamarin, Scandit.DataCapture.Parser.Xamarin, Scandit.DataCapture.TextCapture.Xamarin dependencies if you are not going to use their features.

Get a License Key

  1. Sign up or Sign in to your Scandit account

  2. Create a project

  3. Create a license key

If you have a paid subscription, please reach out to support@scandit.com if you need a new license key.

Additional Information

Note

On Android, the Scandit SDK uses content providers to initialize the scanning capabilities properly. If your own content providers depend on the Scandit SDK, choose an initOrder lower than 10 to make sure the SDK is ready first.

If not specified, initOrder is zero by default and you have nothing to worry about.

Check the official <provider> documentation.

  • Camera Permissions: When using the Scandit Data Capture SDK you will want to set the camera as the frame source for various capture modes. On Xamarin.Android, you have to request camera permissions in your own application before starting scanning. To see how you can achieve this, take a look at our samples: Run our Sample Apps.

Get Started With SparkScan

In this guide you will learn step by step how to add SparkScan to your application.

Roughly, the steps are:

  1. Create a new Data Capture Context instance.

  2. Configure the Spark Scan Mode.

  3. Create the SparkScanView with the desired settings and bind it to the application’s lifecycle.

  4. Register the listener to be informed when new barcodes are scanned and update your data whenever this event occurs.

1. Create a New Data Capture Context Instance

The first step to add capture capabilities to your application is to create a new Data Capture Context. The context expects a valid Scandit Data Capture SDK license key during construction.

DataCaptureContext dataCaptureContext = DataCaptureContext.ForLicenseKey("-- ENTER YOUR SCANDIT LICENSE KEY HERE --");

2. Configure the SparkScan Mode

The SparkScan Mode is configured through SparkScanSettings and allows you to register one or more listeners that are informed whenever a new barcode is scanned.

For this tutorial, we will set up SparkScan for scanning EAN13 codes. Change this to the correct symbologies for your use case (for example, Code 128, Code 39…).

SparkScanSettings settings = new SparkScanSettings();
HashSet<Symbology> symbologies = new HashSet<Symbology>()
{
    Symbology.Ean13Upca
};
settings.EnableSymbologies(symbologies);

Next, create a SparkScan instance with the settings initialized in the previous step:

SparkScan sparkScan = new SparkScan(settings);

3. Setup the Spark Scan View

The SparkScan built-in user interface includes the camera preview and scanning UI elements. These guide the user through the scanning process.

The SparkScanView appearance can be customized through SparkScanViewSettings.

SparkScanViewSettings viewSettings = new SparkScanViewSettings();
// setup the desired appearance settings by updating the fields in the object above

By adding a SparkScanView, the scanning interface (camera preview and scanning UI elements) will be added automatically to your application.

Add a SparkScanView to your view hierarchy:

Construct a new SparkScan view. The SparkScan view is automatically added to the provided parentView (preferably an instance of SparkScanCoordinatorLayout):

SparkScanView sparkScanView = SparkScanView.Create(parentView, dataCaptureContext, sparkScan, viewSettings);

Additionally, make sure to call sparkScanView.onPause() and sparkScanView.onResume() in your Fragment/Activity onPause and onResume callbacks. You have to call these for the correct functioning of the SparkScanView.

protected override void OnPause()
{
    sparkScanView.OnPause();
    base.OnPause();
}

protected override void OnResume()
{
    sparkScanView.OnResume();
    base.OnResume();
}

4. Register the Listener to Be Informed When a New Barcode Is Scanned

To keep track of the barcodes that have been scanned, implement the ISparkScanListener interface and register the listener to the SparkScan mode.

// Register self as a listener to monitor the spark scan session.
sparkScan.AddListener(this);

ISparkScanListener.OnBarcodeScanned() is called when a new barcode has been scanned. This result can be retrieved from the first object in the provided barcodes list: SparkScanSession.NewlyRecognizedBarcodes. Please note that this list only contains one barcode entry.

public void OnBarcodeScanned(SparkScan sparkScan, SparkScanSession session, IFrameData? data)
{
    if (session.NewlyRecognizedBarcodes.Count == 0)
    {
        return;
    }

    // Gather the recognized barcode
    Barcode barcode = session.NewlyRecognizedBarcodes[0];

    // This method is invoked from a recognition internal thread.
    // Run the specified action in the UI thread to update the internal barcode list.
    RunOnUiThread(() =>
    {
        // Update the internal list and the UI with the barcode retrieved above
        this.latestBarcode = barcode;
    });
}

Alternatively to register ISparkScanListener interface it is possible to subscribe to corresponding events. For example:

sparkScan.BarcodeScanned += (object sender, SparkScanEventArgs args) =>
{
    if (args.Session.NewlyRecognizedBarcodes.Count == 0)
    {
        return;
    }

    // Gather the recognized barcode
    Barcode barcode = args.Session.NewlyRecognizedBarcodes[0];

    // This method is invoked from a recognition internal thread.
    // Run the specified action in the UI thread to update the internal barcode list.
    RunOnUiThread(() =>
    {
        // Update the internal list and the UI with the barcode retrieved above
        this.latestBarcode = barcode;
    });
}

5. Scan Some Barcodes

Now that you’re up and running, go find some barcodes to scan. Don’t feel like getting up from your desk? Here’s a handy pdf of barcodes you can print out.

Learn More About SparkScan

UI overview

The SparkScan UI is minimal, meant to be overlayed on top of any application without the need to adapt the existing app, while offering the best user experience.

Three main elements compose the UI:

_images/features.png

NOTE: Additional UI elements are available for developers to use if their app logic requires displaying errors or additional feedback while scanning. More information in Customisation and advanced capabilities.

Workflow Options

The workflow here is based on the default configuration of SparkScan, carefully picked as a result of extensive user testing and customer feedback from the field.

But not all workflows look the same, and your needs may differ. That’s why SparkScan comes with a set of options to configure the scanner and to best fit in the desired workflow.

Scanning modes:

  • Default mode: Ideal for close-range and fast paced scanning. This mode will display a small camera preview to aid with aiming. The preview size and zoom level can be adjusted as needed.

  • Target mode: Ideal for scanning scenarios where precision is important. This mode will add an aimer to the preview, to precisely select the barcode to scan. This is useful when multiple barcodes are in view (e.g. long range scanning).

    • Users can enable the target mode by toggling the dedicated icon in the setting toolbar, shown by default (SparkScanView.TargetModeButtonVisible). Hiding this button will remove the possibility to toggle scanning mode for the end-user.

Scanning behaviors:

  • Single scan: Scan one barcode at a time. The user needs to trigger the scanner every time to scan a barcode. This allows for a more controlled scanning and lower battery consumption.

  • Continuous scan: Scan barcodes consecutively. The user needs to trigger the scanner once and barcodes will be scanned without any further interaction before each scan. This allows for a smoother experience when multiple barcodes need to be scanned consecutively.

Camera preview behaviors:

  • Default: Preview fades aways when the scanner is off. This lets the user check important information displayed by the app and reduces battery consumption.

  • Persistent: Preview remains visible, but darkened, even when the scanner is off. This is useful for scenarios where you want to select a barcode (among many) or need to look through the preview at all times (to ensure the right scan) - especially if used in conjunction with the target mode.

Developers can set a combination of scanning mode, scanning behavior and camera preview behavior - defining the initial state of the scanner. This can be done by setting the default scanning mode (SparkScanViewSettings.DefaultScanningMode).

Workflow Description

  • When SparkScan is started, the UI presents just the trigger button, collapsed on the side.

  • To start scanning, the user can:

    • swipe to open the button, then tap on it.

    • tap on the collapsed trigger button.

  • When the scanner is active the mini preview is shown.

  • Depending on the scanning mode enabled, the workflow will behave differently:

  • Upon scan the user will receive audio/haptic feedback confirming the scan, and the mini preview will display the scanned barcode for a small amount of time before fading away.

  • Tapping on the trigger button will restart immediately the scanner.

  • Upon completing the scanning process (or to interact with the customer app layer), the user can tap in any area outside the trigger button and the mini preview. This collapses the scanner button back to the side, going back to the initial state.

_images/workflow-example.gif

Workflow example.

Supported Devices

Runs on iOS and Android devices.

Supported Symbologies

SparkScan supports all of the major symbologies listed here: Barcode Symbologies except DotCode, MaxiCode, ArUco, and postal codes (KIX, RM4SCC, LAPA 4SC, USPS Intelligent Mail, etc.).

If you are not familiar with the symbologies that are relevant for your use case, you can use capture presets that are tailored for different verticals (e.g. retail, logistics, etc.).

For more symbology specific information, please refer to this link.

Customisation and advanced capabilities

SparkScan offers an out-of-the-box experience optimized for efficiency and a frictionless worker experience. This experience has been crafted after many user testing and with the product knowledge gained in the many years of Scandit.
While this out-of-the-box experience will suit most use-cases, we understand there are some special cases in which some configuration is still needed.
In this page, we collect the main customization and advanced settings you may need to customize SparkScan to obtain the best experience possible.

Advanced capabilities

Control the Scanner through a Hardware Button

Allowing the end user to control the scanner with hardware buttons can be useful if your users typically wear gloves. It can also improve ergonomics in some workflows.

SparkScan offers a built-in API to let you do this via SparkScanViewSettings.HardwareTriggerEnabled.

Trigger the Error State

You may want to introduce logic in your app to show an error message when scanning specific barcodes (e.g. barcodes already added to the list, barcodes from the wrong lot etc.). SparkScan offers a built-in error state you can easily set to trigger an error feedback prompt to the user. You will be able to customize:

  • The text message

  • The timeout of the error message: the scanner will be paused for the specified amount of time, but the user can quickly restart the scanning process by tapping the trigger button

  • The color of the flashing screen upon scan. You can enable or disable the visual feedback via SparkScanViewSettings.VisualFeedbackEnabled and you can control the color via SparkScanViewFeedback.

  • The color of the highlight for the scanned barcode.

  • The feedback (sound, vibration).

To emit an error, you have to implement a ISparkScanFeedbackDelegate and set it to the SparkScanView:

In the ISparkScanFeedbackDelegate.GetFeedbackForBarcode() you can then return an error or a success feedback:

NOTE: You can have different error states triggered by different logic conditions. For example you can trigger an error state when a wrong barcode is scanned, and another one when a duplicate barcode is scanned. These errors can show different colors and have different timeouts.

_images/error-duplicate.png _images/error-wrong.png

NOTE: A high timeout (e.g. >10s) typically requires the users to interact with the UI to start scanning again. This is a good choice when you want to interrupt the scanning workflow (e.g. because a wrong barcode is scanned and some actions need to be performed). A small timeout (e.g. <2s) could allow the user to scan again without having to interact with the app, just momentarily pausing the workflow to acknowledge that a “special” barcode has been scanned. If timeout is set to 0 workflow is not paused at all.

Reject barcodes

To prevent scanning unwanted barcodes (like those already listed or from incorrect lots), use SparkScan’s built-in error state. Setting the SparkScanBarcodeErrorFeedback.ResumeCapturingDelay parameter to 0 allows the user to continue scanning immediately without pausing on rejected codes.

Add More Advanced Scanning Modes to the Setting Toolbar

SparkScan is our best solution for high-speed single scanning and scan-intensive workflows. Depending on your use case, you can use SparkScan scan in conjunction with other Scandit advanced scanning modes, such as MatrixScan Find or MatrixScan Count, to speed up your workflows.
SparkScan offers pre-build buttons you can add to the setting toolbar to easily move to different scan modes from within the SparkScan UI.

First you will need to show these buttons:

// Show the MatrixScan Count and MatrixScan Find buttons
sparkScanView.BarcodeCountButtonVisible = true;
sparkScanView.FastFindButtonVisible = true;
_images/icons-default.png _images/toolbar-advanced.png

Standard toolbar.

Toolbar with advanced modes icons shown.

In addition you have to subscribe to the SparkScanView via SparkScanView.BarcodeCountButtonTapped or SparkScanView.FastFindButtonTapped. After that you will receive callbacks when MatrixScan Find button or MatrixScan Count button is tapped from the toolbar.

this.sparkScanView.BarcodeCountButtonTapped += BarcodeCountButtonTapped;
this.sparkScanView.FastFindButtonTapped += FastFindButtonTapped;

//...

private void FastFindButtonTapped(object sender, SparkScanViewEventArgs e)
{

}

private void BarcodeCountButtonTapped(object sender, SparkScanViewEventArgs e)
{

}

Customization

Customize colors and texts

All texts (guidance inside the trigger button and hints’ messages), colors and opacity of the SparkScan UI elements (trigger button, setting toolbar, toasts) can be customized to match the desired language and color scheme.

Please refer to SparkScanView for the full list of available parameters.

Add Controls to the Setting Toolbar

The Setting Toolbar comes with default buttons included, but the full list of available controls includes:

  • Target Mode (visible by default)

  • Continuous Mode

  • Torch Control (visible by default)

  • Audio Feedback Control

  • Haptics Control

  • Left-handed Mode

In some cases you want to avoid end users from accessing these controls, for example:

  • to prevent them disabling audio feedback on scan, as the work environment is always noisy

  • to prevent them toggling the continuous mode, as you want them to pick items one by one

  • etc.

To add controls to the settings toolbar, just change the visibility of these buttons. Please refer to SparkScanView for the full list of parameters.