Mobile Barcode Scanners - Shaping the Future of the Data Capture Industry

by Shahroze Husain, on May 16, 2016

Screen_Shot_2016-04-20_at_9.38.31_AM.pngVDC recently published a report focused on Mobile Barcode Scanners. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential. 

The data capture industry is constantly changing. Handheld barcode scanning is no longer restricted to traditional pistol grip form factors or rugged mobile devices as pairing or integrating scanners with consumer devices is increasingly becoming a popular option for organizations’ barcode scanning applications. Capitalizing on growing smartphone adoption in the enterprise space, new and emerging hardware vendors such as Infinite Peripherals & Koamtac and non-traditional ISV participants like Scandit and Manatee Works (now part of Cognex) are challenging AIDC incumbents by bringing data capture technology to a wider audience in new ways.

As retail, logistics, and health care organizations face growing pressures to support vital workforce operations, improve customer experiences and improve productivity, consumer smart device-based solutions such as companion scanners, sleds, and barcode scanning software platforms are being evaluated as viable solutions to replace or be deployed alongside traditional purpose-built devices. The following are short descriptions of mobile scanning form factors that are available in the market. 

  • Companion scanners: Small form-factor barcode scanners that pair with other devices via Bluetooth/Wi-Fi.
  • Sleds: Peripherals that encase and enable consumer-grade smart devices for enterprise- grade scanning.
  • Personal Shopping Solutions: Mobile computer solutions that are used by consumers for shopping in store.
  • Software platforms: Software development kits that enable consumer-grade smart devices to use their built-in cameras for enterprise-grade barcode scanning

Exhibit: Respondents’ Plans to Replace Purpose-built Scanners with Mobile Scanning Devices

According to results from VDC’s recent survey of mobile scanner end users and evaluators, 63% of organizations are considering replacing their purpose-built scanner investments with mobile scanners for daily operations. Respondents surveyed across retail, logistics, and health care are currently evaluating the option to deploy mobile scanning solutions to support daily operations. Consumer smartphone-based scanning solutions are also gaining consideration in the enterprise space as companies evaluate BYOD policies and alternatives to traditional purpose-built scanners. However, while mobile scanners do make barcode scanning available to a wider audience and broader range of applications, concerns related to initial investments and deployment costs remain.

VDC believes that mobile scanners are just about starting to present growth potential; application development will play a major role in sustaining long-term business development for vendors in the mobile scanning ecosystem, creating apps for enterprise uses cases and extending vendors’ products to wider audiences. Distributors with vertical expertise and a strong application developer network will be key components to success, since vendors must differentiate themselves from competitors and establish strong brand images.

Mobile scanner vendors profiled as part of this report –, Code, Datalogic, Grabba International, Hiku, Honeywell, Infinite Peripherals, Koamtac, Opticon (OptoElectronics Co. Ltd.), Scandit, Socket Mobile, and Zebra Technologies

For more information and insights on this report, please feel free to download the Executive Brief and contact us to learn how to gain access to the full report.

Written by Shahroze Husain and Richa Gupta. For more information, be sure to review our full mobile scanning report- Mobile Barcode Scanners or contact us at author can be contacted directly at