13 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2014 11:32 AM by philmodjunk

    Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.

    bcheang

      Summary

      Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.

      Product

      FileMaker Go

      Version

      Latest version

      Operating system version

      iOS 7.1.2

      Description of the issue

      If I try to scan a barcode using the front camera, it will not recognize the barcode because the front camera automatically mirrors what's in front of it. If I can to the back camera, everything works.

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      Script step - Use Insert from device. Barcode. Front camera.

      Expected result

      Should detect the barcode when in focus.

      Actual result

      Does not detect barcode at all.

      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      None.

      Configuration information

      N/A

      Workaround

      None.

        • 1. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
          philmodjunk

          Since I couldn't see how "because the front camera automatically mirrors what's in front of it" could affect the function of this feature, I created a small test file, opened it on my iPhone and ran the scan script.

          Focusing the front camera on the UPC code of a box of tissues on my desk was a bit odd--back camera is much easier, but it recognized and scanned the code into the text field I specified as the target of the scan.

          Can you spot anything different?

          • 2. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
            bcheang

            If you look at any plain English text on whatever you are scanning, you may notice you can't read it as you normally would because it is flipped left to right (ie. mirror image). Try scanning a Code 39 barcode. It wouldn't work. Not all barcodes are bi-directional.

            • 3. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
              philmodjunk

              weird. I just tried to repeat the successful test from earlier today (wanted to see if scanned data was reversed) and can't get the gadget to scan...

              • 4. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                Markus Schneider

                I have a FMGo-App for scanning in use - but I never thought about to use the front camera. As I read this post, I realized that there are use-cases for the front camera. Tried it out - and my app' did not scan with the front camera. Turned the iPhone upside down (back camera) and it worked again. Strange. Then I saw Phil's answer and thought that maybe there is a setting for that script step and did not post my answer. AFAIK, You can specify the camera (front/back) - and I most likly specified the back camera. Sometimes a 'normal FileMaker' is very helpfull - I just have the iPad with me at the moment and can't check that out

                • 5. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                  bcheang

                  Some barcodes, like postal barcodes, are designed to work in any orientation, ie. it does not matter whether it is flipped left to right, top to bottom. Others like Code 39 do not have this feature built into it. So it matters that it should be the right side up, left to right. Hence the problem. The front camera produces a mirror image. Hold up a block of text and you will see what it does.

                  • 6. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                    philmodjunk

                    What was weird was that I was scanning UPC codes each time I tested. I was curious if my "working scans" were inputting the UPC code in reverse order and so was trying again with a different test file as I didn't have the original file available. Don't see how such a simple file could be different the second time around, but no matter how I messed with the device, it wouldn't focus on the UPC barcode from the front camera.

                    There are several issues that can affect a successful scan and I was testing for those issues originally to rule them out.

                    • 7. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                      philmodjunk

                      Upon returning to the office, I took a closer look at the item I was successfully scanning and I don't think this bar code was a UPC barcode like the ones that wouldn't scan. Printed bar codes don't come with labels to tell you what they are so I don't know what it was, but even though it would scan from the front camera, it does not scan correctly. The text that appears in my field is different when I insert from the back camera instead of the front...

                      • 8. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                        TSGal

                        bcheang and PhilModJunk:

                        Using an iPad 3, I have no difficulty scanning Code 39 from the front or rear camera. The images are not reversed when using the front camera, although it took a little longer to get it focused correctly.  I then had it tested with an iPhone 5s, and although it also took a little longer to focus, but it did work and display the barcode in the Container field.

                        The barcode Code 39 selected was via a web browser and displaying images.

                        If you have a specific steps/script to follow, or a specific barcode image, please post it so I can try to replicate the issue.

                        TSGal
                        FileMaker, Inc.

                        • 9. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                          philmodjunk

                          TSGal, since we are testing barcode scans from the front camera, did you try a UPC code? That doesn't seem to work for me on my iPhone4s.

                          • 10. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                            TSGal

                            PhilModJunk:

                            I did not have any difficulty with a UPC code.  This is what I did:

                            1. Using a browser, I searched for:   UPC code

                            2. I then clicked on Images, and several UPC codes were displayed.  I clicked the one that showed "0 20357 12268 2" to have a large display.

                            3. In my FileMaker Pro file, I created a script:
                               New Record/Request
                               Insert from Device [ <Container field> ; Type: Bar Code ; Camera: Back ; Resolution: Full ]
                               New Record/Request
                               Insert from Device [ <Container field> ; Type: Bar Code ; Camera: Front ; Resolution: Full ]
                               Commit Records/Requests [ Skip data entry validation ; No dialog ]

                            4. I set the file for Network Sharing

                            5. I launched FileMaker Go 13.0v4, accessed the hosted file, and ran the script.  No issue, although it took longer to focus the front camera than it did the rear camera.

                            6. I closed the file in both FileMaker Go and FileMaker Pro, and then copied the file to the iPhone 5s so it could be run locally.

                            7. I launched FileMaker Go, opened the local file, and ran the script.  Again, no issue.

                            Do you have a specific UPC code that you would like me to try?

                            TSGal
                            FileMaker, Inc.

                            • 11. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                              philmodjunk

                              I might have to lend you my phone. wink

                              Using just a one line script:

                              Insert from Device [ <Container field> ; Type: Bar Code ; Camera: Front ; Resolution: Full ]

                              I was basically grabbing different kitchen items with bar codes and couldn't get the camera to focus on and scan any of them.

                              And I tried restarting FM GO, just to be sure that wasn't a factor here.

                              But just for grins, I created a new file (had tossed the old one) and repeated like you did from an image on my monitor screen. It scanned successfully. I then grabbed some real world objects and it didn't work. I'm not sure if it's just very difficult to focus on the bar code when using the front camera or if there is an additional issue involved.

                              • 12. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                                TSGal

                                PhilModJunk:

                                With my tests, I noticed the iPhone and iPad had to be a little distance away before it recognized the barcode.  At first, I was holding about 6 inches away, but then gradually moved back to 12-18 inches away before being recognized.

                                TSGal
                                FileMaker, Inc.

                                • 13. Re: Using front camera to scan barcodes does not work.
                                  philmodjunk

                                  Ok, tried again, while holding the phone further from the object and very slowly moving in and out. Still no dice.

                                  And I use the back camera to scan bar codes nearly every day with you trouble other than periodically needing to restart the app.