QR Code scanning using iPhone

Hi there,

we are about to start using the QR code functionality to label equipment in our lab such as custom reactors and light sources. Many look the same, but have very different properties which has been confusing for new group members. The QR code help by directly pointing to the standard-operating-procedure of that device in openBIS. I can highly recommend this.

One question though: On my Mac, I can often choose to use the iPhone camera (when using a camera feature). Would you know if this could be enabled in Safari for the openBIS pages? OR, would you recommend using iPads in the lab for note keeping? Problem is that MacBooks don’t have a rear camera which makes scanning the code a little acrobatic…

thanks for any advice, Thorsten


Yes, the iPhone camera can be used as a webcam replacement. It looks somewhat like this:

ICloud Handoff must be activated. So it only works if the devices share the same network and iCloud account. Therefore, it’s not suitable for colleagues or shared office devices. From personal experience, barcode scanning works well even in low-light conditions and with small QR codes. I can’t comment on the performance of scanning linear barcodes.

I can’t give you useful advice for the usage of iPads. It depends a lot on your lab environment, which people use it, are used to working with iPads, do you need it for writing lab notebooks or inventory of samples. You can find some articles about the iPad in this community.

Hope this helps you, Regards Cedric

Thanks Cederic…works like a charm…not sure why it did not the other day…

Regarding the performance of linear barcodes. Please leave around the “black” barcodes a white contrasty background. If you stick the last bars are sticking to a dark background too your chances to scan them drop considerably. And if your camera is not the sharpest either.

QR Codes were invented to avoid all these issues with low end phone cameras, so don’t be surprised if these ones work overall better when using your personal device.

Of course, all this doesn’t apply if you have a professional barcode scanner that we also support.

I hope this helps.


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