Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Microscan’s Image Lock technology prevents user access to photos taken by barcode imagers

Microscan, a global technology leader in barcode, machine vision, and lighting solutions, introduces Image Lock technology on its latest handheld barcode readers, the HS-41X and HS-51X. Image Lock is the only commercially-available feature in image-based barcode reading that ensures photos taken by a reader’s camera are never accessible by users or software, protecting sensitive information.

Developed in the 1990s, barcode imaging technology has grown rapidly in popularity for its ability to read a variety of code types (or symbologies) in a wide range of environments. Barcode imagers use rows of CCD or CMOS sensors arranged in a two-dimensional array to generate an image of a symbol. This method of image processing allows the reader to decode in both 1D (linear) and 2D symbols. 2D symbols, such as Microscan’s own patented Data Matrix, have been adopted in industries like electronics and automotive manufacturing because they allow large amounts of data to be encoded within a small physical area. Data-dense 2D symbols are also ideal for marking small items that must be tracked throughout a product’s lifecycle – a process known as direct part marking or DPM. Not only can barcode imagers decode DPM symbols, but Microscan’s aggressive imaging algorithms allow even damaged, distorted, or low-contrast symbols to be read consistently on any substrate.

From laboratories to electronics manufacturing environments, aerospace facilities, and automotive plants, companies are realizing the benefits of imaging for simple, accurate, and efficient part identification and traceability in their operations. In industries like these where sensitive information is processed on a daily basis, many companies have adopted strict security measures for guarding confidential products or processes, trade secrets, and sensitive customer information protected by privacy laws. Barcode readers that use cameras to capture images of symbols on products – with the ability to capture images of anything within the reader’s focal range – pose a security risk should photos be leaked from the device’s camera via configuration software or by operator misuse.

Image Lock technology is a recent advancement in barcode imaging offered by Microscan with the introduction of the HS-41X Handheld DPM Reader and HS-51X Wireless DPM Reader – the only commercially-available readers featuring Image Lock. Developed for customers with strict security requirements, Image Lock secures captured images within the device, where images are automatically deleted once a symbol is decoded. Since the images are deleted, they are not made available to connected barcode setup or configuration software user interfaces (such as Microscan’s ESP® Easy Setup Program Software), nor are they directly accessible by users to view or download from the device. This prevents unintentional or deliberate leaks of sensitive material, safeguarding a company’s competitive advantage and reputation by securing information such as unreleased consumer electronics designs, sensitive patient information, or government and DoD technology.