We all love tools that save us time (and our sanity at the same time). In this post I am happy to describe my experience with the ROV barcode scanner from Microvision.
The ROV is a small 1D barcode scanner that will connect with Microsoft Windows (Vista and XP), Windows Mobile, and RIM Blackberry devices via Bluetooth and USB (with an optional accessory). The barcode scanner is lightweight, inexpensive and works exactly as promised. The scanner is powered by 3 AAA batteries and can scan as fast as a barcode a second.
As I mentioned earlier, this barcode scanner has saved me a significant amount of time and effort in data entry on a recent project I managed. I recently was asked to activate over 1000 lines of service for a large demo of AT&T’s service on a new handset. I began typing in (by hand) the SIM card numbers into our online activation system. A SIM, for those that don’t know, are 20 digits long and each one is unique. Typing one digit incorrectly results in the inability to activate the SIM card.
After about 50 entries my hands began to ache, eyes were going cross-eyed, and I was considering a career change. In frustration I began to look at purchasing a barcode scanner to ease my suffering. To my amazement, the barcode scanners were in the $400 range and really did not offer me the ability to work remotely. At that point I made some calls and was introduced to the ROV scanner.
I began by connecting the scanner to my computer via Bluetooth and within a half hour, I had completed the activation of all 1000+ lines! Incredible- At $129 the scanner is a bargain but offers the freedom of Bluetooth for wireless scanning. No nest of wires on my desk! What a great tool and lifesaver.
The story does not end there, however… As I mentioned above, the barcode scanner also connects to smartphones such as Blackberrys and Windows Mobile handsets. I recently had needed to email some SIM card numbers in an emergency but I did not have my computer handy. If you think typing a 20-digit number is bad with a full keyboard, you haven’t had the pleasure of doing it from a blackberry. Determined to complete this quickly I downloaded the scanner wedge software for my Blackberry Curve, paired the scanner and I was off and scanning. What a powerful example of how customers can really be free from their desks and computers.
Many customers have been able to gain efficiencies never realized by leveraging the power of the AT&T network with the ROV scanner. I recently learned that there are now grocery stores that are doing inventory using the ROV Scanner and a custom blackberry application. In addition to the wireless benefit, these customers also benefit from the fact that as they update their handsets to the latest AT&T devices, they have not lost their investment in the Bluetooth scanner. In addition they are able to take advantage of some of the new enhancements that we add into the new devices. When I updated my Blackberry Bold that operates on our high speed 3G network, my ROV does not skip a beat. For all you Mac fans out there (of which I am one of), there is software available which will allow you to use the ROV with your Mac; unfortunately it must be purchased separately.