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RedLaser and the Redlands Police Department

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

Apple worked with the Redlands Police Department to study how their devices and applications helped the police force. One of the highlighted apps was RedLaser!

Apple reports that Detective Leslie Martinez uses RedLaser to help with big cases. When Martinez cracks a case and finds lots of stolen merchandise, one of the biggest challenges is finding where the merchandise might have come from. By using RedLaser, Martinez is able to quickly build a list of local and online retailers who sell the products, and might have more information about the case.

Just jump to 1:20 in the video to see RedLaser in action.

 


iOS SDK 3.3.0 release: Codabar support, new scanning engine, improved sample application

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

The RedLaser team is proud to announce the release of our iOS SDK version 3.3.0. This release is now available to all production accounts, and for evaluation.

This new update contains a number of new features and bug fixes. Of particular note for our users: this update removes the unique device identifier [UDID] call from the SDK.

Use of these identifiers was deprecated in iOS 5.0, and recently, accessing UDIDs in an application may result in rejection in app review.  Due to this change, developers should use RedLaser iOS SDK version 3.3.0 or later in all future applications. This change will not impact existing applications. Historically, we’ve used UDIDs in our licensing system, particularly for developer accounts–they are never used outside of RedLaser. We’re changing our licensing system to use an alternative device identification system.

Two other changes are highlighted in our updated sample application.

First, the RedLaser iOS SDK now supports scanning Codabar barcodes. The most prominent user of Codabar is FedEx, which uses the symbology for its airbills. It is also commonly used by libraries, photo labs, and American blood banks. Codabar can be enabled in a similar fashion as other code symbologies in the SDK. You can also see the other code types RedLaser can scan in our documentation.

Second, we have added a debugging line to our sample application which provides information about the installed license file. You can read more about the testing process here.

Generally, the sample application has also been further updated to highlight some of the more advanced functionality available with the RedLaser SDK. This includes:

  • Built-in multi-scan mode
  • Multiple scan screen overlay options
  • Screen overlay rotation (particularly useful for large code types, like Code 39, which are used for VINs)
  • Utilizes both the front and rear facing cameras

Please utilize code from our sample application as a starting point for integrating the RedLaser SDK into your application, and push our software to its limits!

There have also been a number of behind-the-scenes changes. In particular, we have developed a new scanning algorithm which significantly improves performance on older devices.

Older devices have lower resolution cameras (frequently without auto-focus), and this translates into blurry barcodes. The RedLaser SDK now intelligently adjusts its gamma expectations based on ambient light, which lets it quickly pick out the details of blurry codes even in dark conditions.
Finally, we have introduced support for a capture-preview call. Under any circumstances you specify, the scanning SDK will capture a screen-shot of the preview screen right as it successfully completes a scan. You can send these previews back to your servers — functionality which may help coupon applications make sure real coupons (not just print-outs or photocopies) are being scanned.

 

In summary, our new iOS SDK introduces:

  • Changes to our licensing system to remove the need for UDID calls
  • Improved scanning in low-light conditions
  • Improved EAN scanning on iPad 2 and iPod Touch devices
  • BarcodeResult now conforms to NSCoding.
  • A new sample application, which includes license testing
  • Support for Codabar
  • Capture of barcode-scanning preview images

If you have a production account, you may download our new SDK immediately from our developer portal.