Its Apparent is always developing new barcode products. A couple of years ago they came with the Scanabout, a USB-dock based Bluetooth barcode scanner, a couple of years before that, they had the PDF417 scanner (which I purchased and still use to full satisfaction today). Until a couple of weeks ago, their business barcode scanner was a ROV IntelliScanner SOHO. And now IntelliScanner has released a follow up for the ROV, which is tiny but sturdy.
IntelliScanner divides its products between professional and home usage. The new IntelliScanner SOHO Black is a business usage appliance. It’s a tiny scanner, barely larger than a USB stick. It’s made of a structured type of plastic that sits comfortably in your hand, doesn’t get dirty quickly and doesn’t slip out of your hand, either. It comes in the now typical metal Intelliscanner box with a lanyard. The scanner can hold a few thousand barcodes and then offload them in batch into any software, because the included driver/software tools can tun this little scanner into a keyboard wedge type barcode scanner — those give the least problems in my opinion.
The IntelliScanner SOHO Black doesn’t work on Mac OS X without the driver, but IntelliScanner rewrote the older one to accommodate for the new SOHO Black’s capabilities as well as to support the keyboard wedge functionality. An added plus is that you can now set the driver to always use the same setting until you decide to change it. This makes it possible to use the SOHO Black even when you’re in the Finder, adding a barcode to a folder name, for example.
Another great advantage of the new software is that you can add special characters (even modifier keys will work), such as a carriage return or a tab at the end, or get rid of any added characters following the barcode. With this new functionality, the Intelliscanner software is now more flexible and powerful than ever. The one thing that I would like to see added in the future is the ability to save different settings to different configuration files. That way, I could load a setting with a return at the end, and later decide to load another one with a tab at the end.
On my Mac OS X 10.6.6 system, the driver works like a charm. Batch scanning is done without the USB interface connected to the Mac. As soon as the IntelliScanner SOHO Black is connected to the Mac, the scanner offloads its barcodes in the frontmost application, or any other application you select in the setup interface.
With the Intelliscanner SOHO Black also comes a business integration kit, which basically is a folder of instructions for MYOB, LightSpeed, and Bento, as well as sample files for integration with MS Excel and FileMaker Pro. There’s also a folder full of Code 39 barcode fonts for use with FileMaker.
When using the Intelliscanner SOHO Black I did notice the driver seems to need initializing before it can follow the speed with which the scanner offloads a barcode. The first reading is always wrong. However, to be quite honest, I have had this problem with SerialMagic Pro (a competing product) as well, so it could very well be my Mac’s system configuration that is somehow crippling any sort of barcode driver.
While barcode scanning is fun if you’re a bit geeky, it’s certainly useful. Especially if you want to efficiently associate a digital document with a paper one, barcodes can make managing documents far easier than without. The Intelliscanner SOHO Black is a great instrument for that and a whole plethora of other tasks. The only problem that you can have with it, is that you lose it out of sight. The SOHO Black costs approx. 220.00 Euros.